A grieving mum who was thrown in a cell for 24 hours after she was wrongly arrested on suspicion of murdering her three-year-old son has won a payout from police.
Heartbroken Abby Podmore, 22, was held overnight following the death of little Alfie, who died of a chest infection after medics misdiagnosed him.
The dental nurse was left devastated by the ‘horrifying’ ordeal and still requires psychiatric care as a result.
It has now emerged that the mum-of-one had received an undisclosed out-of-court settlement from West Midlands Police.
The payment followed a five-figure sum from Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust after they admitted failings in medical care.
Abby has battled since February 2011 to have mistakes by doctors and police recognised by the courts.
An inquest in September 2011 heard antibiotics may have saved Alfie but instead he was prescribed antacids and sent home, where he died on February 6, 2011.
Abby, who has since given birth to another son, one-year-old Harry, said yesterday she was relieved her two-year legal battle had finally come to a end.
She said: “Alfie was my whole world. I loved him so much and did the very best I could for him.
“I knew in my heart that I couldn’t have done any more for my little boy.
“I put my trust in the hospital and believed the doctors and nurses when they told me he would be okay and to take him home.
“It’s been very difficult to trust medical professionals again and since Henry was born I have been very protective of him.
“My fiance Thomas and I are trying to move on with our lives for the sake of our new son, but little Alfie will always be a part of us.
“Last year we took Henry to the Algarve in Portugal.
“It was the last place we had enjoyed a family holiday with Alfie, who just loved playing on the beach and we felt it was a fitting tribute to his memory to take his little brother there.
“Its incredibly hard knowing that Henry will never know the older brother he should have been able to grow up with.
“When he is older we will tell him all about Alfie and how he was such a happy little boy, a real little livewire who loved life and was always smiling.
“Alfie was adored by his family and everyone whose lives he touched during his short time with us and he will never be forgotten.
“I’m just relieved the legal battles with both the NHS Trust and police are now over as we can finally look to begin rebuilding our lives.”
Speaking several months after her arrest, Abby said she was disgusted by her treatment at the hands of ‘heavy-handed’ officers who put up a white crime scene tent in her garden less than an hour after Alfie’s death.
She added: “I was still struggling to cope with the news that my little boy had passed away when police officers came to tell me I was being taken into custody on suspicion of my son’s murder.
“I wasn’t even allowed to see his body for 10 days after he died.
“I am ashamed to have thought that they would even think that I would do that to my child who was my world and my everything.
“They tagged me a murderer and I was not. I am just disgusted in the way that I was treated.”
Solicitor Tom Riis-Bristow, who represented Abby, said: “The consequences of losing Alfie so suddenly and in such tragic circumstances have had a long lasting psychological effect on Abby.
“The out-of-court settlements will be used to help fund the ongoing psychiatric care she needs and will also provide the couple with funds to help them move house, as their present home has so many painful memories which they have understandably found extremely hard to deal with.”
West Midlands Police made the payout but have not admitted any wrongdoing.
Chief Inspector Garry Billing, from Birmingham Police’s Child Protection Unit, said: “A payment has been made to Abby Podmore; she’s accepted it is a full and final settlement and without any admission from West Midlands Police.
“Ms Podmore was arrested following her son’s death as it was deemed in the best interest of the investigation at that stage; she’s since recognised that police were acting on information available to them at the time and needed to fully investigate matters.
“It became apparent, however, the case should not be treated as a murder inquiry and she was quickly dismissed as a suspect.
“This is a truly tragic case and no amount of money can ever compensate for the death of a child.”