UK & World News

  • 15 January 2013, 14:53

Toddler Blind Cord Death Ruled 'Accidental'

A coroner has recorded a verdict of accidental death in the case of a girl who died after becoming tangled in a blind cord.

Alexandra Lucy Hoegh died in her top-floor room at her family's four-storey luxury home in west London's Notting Hill last October.

The inquest heard the toddler was found by her nanny Melinda De La Cruz when she went to wake her from an afternoon nap while her mother Dana Hoegh chatted to a friend, Catherine Mathiesen, downstairs in the kitchen.

Alexandra, who was three weeks from her third birthday, was given mouth-to-mouth in the street by her mother as they waited for an ambulance.

Westminster Coroner's Court heard how she and Ms Mathiesen were found by police crying hysterically in the street as paramedics fought to revive the youngster.

Mrs Hoegh told the inquest the Filipino nanny - who had trained in childcare in her native country but did not complete the course - had arrived late for work at 1.50pm.

She took over from her mother Andrea, who cleaned and helped nanny for the Hoeghs, apologised to Mrs Hoegh and then went upstairs to get the toddler at around 2.10pm.

"A couple of minutes after that we heard a scream, then another scream," Mrs Hoegh told the inquest.

"We went to the door of the kitchen and met Melinda with Alexandra.

"She was blue. She was not breathing.

"I ran downstairs into the street. I asked my friend Catherine to call an ambulance and started mouth-to-mouth on her on the pavement."

Alexandra's father Morten Hoegh, 39, is the chairman of Hoegh LNG - a multibillion-pound oil and gas shipping company based in Norway.

He runs the business between London and Oslo and appears on the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of 175m.

Mrs Hoegh said her daughter, the youngest of the couple's three children, had been her usual happy self and had been to her playgroup that morning.

The inquest heard Alexandra was "very adept" at climbing in and out of her cot, using a table next to it. The cot was by the window, which had a roller blind fitted.

Mrs Hoegh added: "I insisted that day she have a nap because she had woken up at 3am."

Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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