THE mother of a Hampshire girl who died in what is believed to be a hanging accident, has vowed never to return to the family home where it happened.

Lisha Womack found her two-year-old daughter Nicola hanging from her dress strap on the window ledge of their flat in Lindbergh Close, Rowner, Gosport.

The 19-year-old mum has already applied to be transferred to a new flat.

She said: "I couldn't go back there now.

"I don't know how I am going to cope without her. She was my ray of sunshine, the perfect child."

Mrs Womack had left Nicola playing with toys in her bedroom while she watched television.

She said: "I must have been in there about 10 minutes when I decided to open my front window to get some air.

"When I looked out I could see Nicola hanging by her dress strap from the window of my bedroom, which she must have made her way to.

"I immediately jumped out of the window and unhooked her. She wasn't breathing and I couldn't find a pulse."

Mrs Womack then screamed for help, urging her neighbours to call for an ambulance.

She added: "I frantically tried to resuscitate her, helped by some of my neighbours.

"Then the ambulance arrived. The doctors managed to get her heart beating for about two minutes, but she was so severely brain-damaged that she just couldn't keep going on her own.

"A short while later the doctors pronounced her dead."

Mrs Womack is separated from her husband, Ian. He lives in nearby Bridgemary, but had been in daily contact with Nicola.

She said: "The hospital phoned Ian, who rushed there but was too late to see Nicola alive. We are both distraught.

"Nicola was such a lovely little girl and meant everything to us.

"She was a very happy and contented child and she loved being cuddled. She had just learned to say 'I love you'.

"I don't know whether to blame myself for what happened."

Mrs Womack is staying at her mother-in-law Carol Womack's home in Gosport, where she is being comforted by her husband.

Sharon King, 21, lives in the same block of flats as the Womack family.

Sharon, who has two small children herself, said she heard her neighbour's screams and rushed to call an ambulance, relaying information to the operator on the child's condition.

She said: "I am in a real state of shock. I have not slept properly since. Every time I close my eyes I see the baby and hear the woman screaming."