From left: Father Simon Jones, son Daniel Jones and mother Emma Bradburn (West Midlands Police)
From left: Father Simon Jones, son Daniel Jones and mother Emma Bradburn (West Midlands Police)

A mother and father whose toddler son died after they allowed him to take heroin have been jailed.

Simon Jones, 30, was sentenced to six years in jail for manslaughter by gross negligence of 23-month-old Daniel Jones.

The boy's mother, 34-year-old Emma Bradburn, was handed a four-year sentence after she admitted to allowing the boy's death.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court Judge Justice Thirlwall said there was no doubt that the defendants, who were long-term heroin addicts, loved their child but added: "It is one thing to risk your own health but quite another matter to risk your son's.

"You failed woefully to protect him from the very obvious dangers you exposed him to. The danger was mortal danger, as you should have realised."

Daniel was pronounced dead when paramedics were called to a house in the Penn area of Wolverhampton on 29 May.

His death was initially treated as unexplained but the results of extensive forensic tests revealed that he had died of a heroin overdose.

Jones accepted he was responsible for his son swallowing a small amount of heroin as he was using the drug at the time.

After arrest, tests confirmed that Jones tested positive for heroin while Bradburn did not.

Det Insp John Smith said: "This was a truly tragic case, where a young boy has had his life so needlessly cut short, having been exposed to illegal and dangerous substances.

"His parents were unable to prioritise their son's needs before their own. It was a gross betrayal of trust - they led a lifestyle which was not conducive to being responsible parents.

"Daniel was a fit and healthy little boy and it is tragic that he will not reach adulthood.

"There are no winners in this case."

Both Jones and Bradburn said they did not smoke heroin or cannabis in front of their child. Police found drug paraphernalia found in the bedroom of their home.

Police also found a cannabis factory in the loft where more than 30 plants were growing.

Smith added: "We don't know exactly how the youngster came to ingest the illegal drug, but we do know that he should never have been exposed to [it] in any case."