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Cops probe another baby’s death

Saturday, June 7, 2014
The grandparents of Matai Phillip, Lincoln Halls and Gemma Ottley, speak with reporters outside the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday. PHOTO: JENSEN LA VENDE

The relatives of ten-month-old Matai Phillip will have to wait until Monday to find out what caused the child’s death yesterday. They say they were told to return to the Forensic Science Centre on Monday, as the baby’s case was a “special one.” The child was the youngest son of his father, national footballer Marvin Phillip, and the first and only child of his mother, PC Lesley-Ann Halls. 



The child’s grandfather, Lincoln Halls, said he dropped off Matai around 6.15 am yesterday at Anointed Hands Day Care at Cicada Street, Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas.  Halls, who spoke with the media outside the Forensic Science Centre yesterday, said he gave the child to the caregivers and then gave them the car seat. He said Matai was not in the car seat because his wife was holding the child at the time. 



Just after 7 am Matai’s grandmother Gemma Ottley was called and told to go to the Chaguanas Health Facility as the child was unresponsive. “When I left him he was jolly and playing. Then I went to the health centre, minutes to eight, and the child was lifeless. “They said he was in the child seat and the strap may have choked him. “The crib is the safer place. You wouldn't take a child from a crib to put him in a car seat. The only time I would put him there is when he in my view. That sounding so strange,” Halls said.



Police said caregivers at the daycare centre said Matai had a history of respiratory problems. The caregiver said after receiving Matai he was placed in the car seat. Some time later he seemed to be asleep, so the caregiver went to put him in the crib and noticed he was not breathing.


The caregiver, who is trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), tried to revive  Matai but was unable to do so. Emergency Health Services (EHS) was called in and took Matai to the Chaguanas Health Facility, where he was pronounced dead some time after. Cpl Barrow of the Chaguanas CID is continuing investigations.



Father flies home 

A release from the T&T Football Federation yesterday said Phillip was told of his baby son’s death shortly after he arrived in Sao Paolo, Brazil, for Sunday’s match against Iran. He is expected to return home today. Phillip, the Point Fortin Civic Centre custodian, was the reserve goalkeeper in Wednesday’s friendly international against Argentina. 


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