The parents of a healthy eight-month-old baby boy who died say they are living in a "nightmare" after they son was found unresponsive in his cot.

Charlie Matthew Wilkinson was staying at his grandparents house in Wigan when he was found not breathing in his cot.

The family tried to resuscitate him, but tragically he was pronounced dead an hour later in hospital.

An inquest into Charlie’s death was held at Bolton Coroner’s Court by area coroner Timothy Brennan today on January 25 - reports the Manchester Evening News.

It heard how on June 6 last year, Charlie had been at his grandparents' home with brothers Finnley and Lewis.

It was the first time they had stayed over since before the national lockdown.

As per his normal routine, Charlie was fed, winded and put in his cot.

Nothing seemed untoward until his granddad went to check on him a while later and he noticed Charlie was not breathing.

They frantically dialled 999 and attempted CPR as instructed by the phone operator.

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Charlie’s mother and father, Katie Benson and Adam Wilkinson, had been living nearby at the time.

They were told what had happened when a family member knocked on their door.

Katie told the inquest : “There was a banging at the door, it was my brother-in-law.

“He said the baby wasn’t breathing and I just got in my car. I just wanted to get to my baby.”

Medics attempted to resuscitate Charlie for just over an hour before he was pronounced dead at 9.29pm.

A post-mortem examination found no evidence he had any abnormalities, injuries or illness.

It failed to identify any real cause of death.

Abigail Callender-Iddon, a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, said Charlie was not unwell and they found no evidence of infection.

She told the court: “He was happy; he was put to bed in a cot deemed safe and suitable and the room temperature was suitable.

“There were no bruises found. Everything was just an unfortunate series of events.”

Charlie Wilkinson, who died aged eight months, in June

Charlie’s family wept as a statement from his mother Katie Benson was read out in court.

She said: “Our life was perfect until this nightmare began.

“Charlie always amazed us at how well he reached every milestone in the neonatal unit.

“Charlie was just beginning to crawl and was always smiling. He loved to play with his brother.

“In the days leading up to what happened to Charlie, he was doing well and sleeping through the night.

“The (twins) both had regular checks and were doing well. They were happy and healthy.

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“On June 6, we took Lewis, Finnley and Charlie around to their grandparents. It had been the first time after lockdown.

“We all miss Charlie terribly and it has come as a shock to us all.

“How can my healthy baby just go to sleep and never wake up? It will always be a question that will never leave my mind."

Before concluding the inquest, area coroner Timothy Brennan said: “It’s not just every parent’s worst nightmare, it’s every grandparent’s nightmare.

“This tragically is simply one of those phenomena that can take a baby in one of these circumstances.

“These are difficult and harrowing cases. There was nothing wrong with him; he was born premature at 33 weeks but the post-mortem failed to identify a cause of death.

“Paramedics said he had gone into cardiac arrest.

“It’s clear to me that in relation to what you have both said in your statements and your attendance before me in the proceedings, the nightmare for you continues.

“What you struggle to come to terms with is not the enormity of your loss, but none of the experts could give you a reason why.

“It makes the loss you endure all the harder to comprehend or understand.

“For your loss I have nothing but true sorrow.”

Area coroner Timothy Brennan rules Charlie’s death as unascertainable but on the balance of probability a natural cause.