A MOTHER broke down in tears as she relived the moments when her two baby sons died.
Donna Hanson, 26, of Church Street, Accrington, was giving evidence on the first day of the inquest into the death of three-month-old Toby Woods.
Toby died in September 1999 - less than a year after the death of his 10-month-old brother Ashley.
Miss Hanson was arrested on suspicion of Toby's murder in January 2000 but after a long-running investigation police finally announced in August last year that they had decided not to prosecute her.
Now, five years on, Miss Hanson has told her story for the first time.
She described to the jury inquest at Clitheroe Town Hall how she was arrested while visiting her other child in hospital and how police told her partner Robert Woods that she had considered having an abortion when first finding out that she was pregnant with Toby.
She said: "A nurse came up to me and said I had got some visitors. I went into a side room and there were two police officers.
"They said: 'We are arresting you on suspicion of the murder of Toby Woods and we are looking into Ashley as well.' I couldn't believe what they were saying to me. I couldn't take it all in. I just kept saying: 'I don't understand, I haven't done anything. Why are you doing this?'
"I now regret not telling Rob about considering a termination. He should have heard about that from me. "
She added: "At one point I'd been so happy. I had everything I wanted - a house, a job, a partner - and we were parents. Then all this happened."
Miss Hanson told the jury how both her children had suffered from "episodes" where their breathing became shallow and they became limp and "floppy" and blue around the mouth. Both had spent significant time in hospital. Toby was also prone to vomiting.
She tearfully recalled how Ashley had collapsed hours after coming home from hospital and Rob had followed instructions over the phone from the ambulance control room to try to get the tot breathing again.
He was rushed to Blackburn Royal Infirmary but doctors were unable to revive him.
An inquest on Ashley returned a verdict of unascertained natural causes.
Donna said that because of Ashley's death Toby was placed on the Care of the Next Infant (Coni) scheme when he was born.
The national scheme offers support for parents including a breathing monitor, symptoms diary, weighing scales and training in resuscitation techniques.
Robert and Donna had accepted the breathing monitor but had turned down the offer of CPR training as they thought it would be too distressing for them following Ashley's death.
Toby was admitted to Queen's Park Hospital, Blackburn, after Donna discovered him in his pram pale and floppy. While in hospital he suffered several "episodes" before being transferred to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital at Pendlebury for tests.
Shortly after he returned to their then home in Pendle Street, Accrington, he was in his pram in the front room and Donna was in the kitchen when she heard the breathing alarm go off. She desperately tried to resuscitate the baby who was taken to Blackburn Royal Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead.
Donna told the jury: "I loved my son. I changed him, fed him and stayed with him all the time. I want to find out why he died and I want to find out what really happened."
The hearing is expected to last another week.