A TWO-and-a-half-month-old baby boy died after being placed on a sofa next to a sleeping adult, an inquest heard.

Archie Jackson was unresponsive on the settee at his brother's grandmother's home in Rockcliffe Street, Blackburn, at around 2.30pm on April 7.

An ambulance was called but the little boy was pronounced dead at 3.15pm at Royal Blackburn Hospital after paramedics and hospital staff were unable to resuscitate him.

Coroner James Newman said at around 10.30pm the night before, Archie’s mother, Sarah Jackson, had dropped Archie off at Stephanie Parkinson’s house, the mother of Miss Jackson’s former partner, David Parkinson.

Archie had been put to sleep in his carry-cot as normal but had a relatively unsettled night.

During the evening, Mr Parkinson returned to his mother's house and fell asleep on the sofa, where he remained until around 2pm the following day.

A statement from Miss Jackson said: "I dropped Archie off at Steph's about 10.30pm and then went out.

"I woke up the next day about 1pm and went back to Steph's to pick the kids up. When I got there there was an ambulance outside and I ran round the back and there were two paramedics working on Archie.

"I asked David what was going on and what had happened and he said he didn't know."

READ MORE: Baby died in bed with parents and brother in Bolton causing warning against 'co-sleeping'

Giving evidence at the inquest in Preston, Stephanie Parkinson said at around 8am on April 7, Archie had woken up and she had tried to feed him.

Mrs Parkinson said: "At about 10.30am I tried to feed him again but he wasn't taking his food so I put him back in his cot.

"At about 11.30 I tried to feed him again but he started crying so I cuddled him. David was facing away from the back of the sofa sleeping, so I put Archie between David and the back of the sofa.

"I wanted to try to settle Archie by having someone close to him."

Around 2.30pm, Mrs Parkinson had returned to the room and couldn't hear Archie breathing, the inquest heard.

She picked him up from the sofa and realised he was no longer responsive.

She said: "I woke David up and called an ambulance who then told David to start CPR on Archie. The paramedics arrived really quickly and took him straight to the ambulance."

Mr Newman said that there was the potential for unconventional sleeping to increase the risk of sudden death in infancy. He asked her if Mr Parkinson had rolled onto Archie in his sleep, to which she replied, 'no'.

Giving evidence, Mr Parkinson said when he returned home after his night out, Archie had been sleeping in his Moses basket and he went to sleep on the sofa at around 8am.

Mr Newman said: "Were you aware at any time that Archie had been placed behind you on the sofa."

Mr Parkinson responded, 'no'.

He said: "I don't have any recollection of finding myself on top of Archie and when I woke up my mum had hold of Archie and was screaming and said that he wasn't breathing so I got hold of Archie and mum phoned the ambulance."

Mr Parkinson said the paramedics arrived in what 'seemed like seconds', and during the time he was trying to resuscitate the little boy, he had seen no signs of life.

Paramedic Simon Brindle said in a statement: "We took Archie to Royal Blackburn Hospital but he wasn't breathing and his heart was not beating."

Forensic pathologist, Dr Naomi Carter, who carried out the post-mortem examination on Archie, said that there was no evidence to suggest that there had been any internal or external injuries to Archie.

As far as she was concerned, Archie was a healthy little boy.

She said: “He had been on a sofa in between an adult and the back of the sofa. Tests failed to reveal a substantive cause of death but it’s crucial to say that there is an excess of death in infants who have unconventional sleeping arrangements, such as sharing beds or sofas with someone.”

Detective Inspector Tim Brown said there was nothing to suggest any criminal act had taken place at Rockcliffe Street, as Mr Parkinson had not been aware that Archie had been lying next to him on the sofa.

Mr Newman recorded an open conclusion and said: “I can only imagine the pain you are going through.

"We are told not to co-sleep with babies but I understand that there are occasions when this could happen.

"There's a risk of sudden death in infancy where there has been unsafe sleeping practices and if you have a little one they should always be put back in their cot.

"I cannot say this death was an accident as there are a number of factors that could have contributed to him dying which could have been brought on by unconventional sleeping habits, and so I have to record the cause of death as unascertained."

Speaking after the inquest, Miss Jackson said: "Archie was a happy little boy and was the best baby I could wish for, he was so easy going and made my life better."