A fresh investigation has been ordered by a coroner into the death of a five-month old baby who was dropped by her mother at a Christmas fair. Sunaria Hamid-Howells died more than a month later from head injuries. Her mother, Katherine Howells, 34, from Pontypridd, slipped at the Festive Fayre at the Bluestone holiday park in Pembrokeshire in November 2012.
The inquest was adjourned after a coroner stated that her death was likely to be as a result of "unlawful killing".
Christopher Woolley, the assistant coroner for Cardiff, terminated the hearing and despatched the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for further investigation. He said: "It appears in this case that the death is likely to have been due to a homicide offence and that a person may be charged in relation to that offence. Evidence was given which not only suggested the death was homicide but also who was responsible. This evidence had not been given before to South Wales police.
Howells had Sunaria in her arms when she fell on to two Christmas trees at the packed event. The inquest had heard that the baby had not thought to have been seriously injured and left the grotto asleep and being carried by her mother. Sunaria was later pronounced to be healthy by GP David Harris, who said he had seen the baby on 27 December after being told she had fallen from a rocker chair.
"I felt a swelling on her upper skull but there wasn't any severe or significant change compared to the other side of her head," he said. "Mum seemed fine with Sunaria and there was nothing unusual. She was smiling and playful during the consultation and there didn't seem to be any tenderness on the scalp." The doctor said he made the decision to monitor the swelling and wanted an ultrasound scan to be carried out if it did not subside.
Sunaria then fell ill on 30 December soon after being bottle-fed by her father.The baby was taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, and then onto Cardiff University Hospital of Wales, where she died.
Evidence from Dr Iyad Al-Muzaffar, neonatal consultant at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, was read out by Woolley. Dr Al-Muzaffar said a scan had shown Sunaria had suffered a haemorrhage as a result of skull fracture and bleeding to the brain. He added: "The severity of the head injury suggests an acute event. In my opinion the history given of Sunaria and the rocker does not explain her acute presentation on December 30."