These pictures show the shocking conditions inside the mouldy and damp home of a toddler who died after developing breathing difficulties.
Awaab Ishak died a week after his second birthday in December 2020, inside his home in the Ilminster block on the Freehold estate in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
He had developed a continuous cough and was unable to breathe through his nose in the final weeks of his life, leading him to suffer a fatal cardiac arrest.
An inquest into Awaab’s death at Rochdale Coroners’ Court has now been shown pictures of the inside of the home, where black spores are seen on the walls and ceiling, completely covering parts of the property.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) also found thick mould behind radiators, and inside other properties on the estate.
Caroline Ridley, a health visitor who visited the home in July 2020, was shown the extent of the mould by Awaab’s father, Faisal Abdullah.
She told the inquest: "There was quite a significant amount of mould. I'm not a mould expert but I think it would have taken a long time to get to that extent.”
Mould expert Malcolm Richardson found several species of fungus during tests carried out at the property following Awaab's death.
Mr Abdullah, who believed the mould was affecting his son’s health, told the inquest that he had been complaining to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), who manage the property, since 2017 – and had applied for a new house in 2019.
However, the family did not receive a response to the letter and Awaab’s health declined and he was prescribed antibiotics shortly before his death.
Dr Kevin Cody, GP at Ashworth Street Surgery, told the court that Awaab was “seen more than most children” for coughs and cold symptoms, but he was never diagnosed with asthma.
He told coroner Joanne Kearsley the practice was now “more aware” of issues regarding damp and mould affecting health than before Awaab's death.
"After this case we do have more patients within the local area that have come since with property problems," he said.
Home Office pathologist Dr Philip Lumb told the court that mould was the “most plausible, or only explanation” for Awaab's fatal breathing conditions.
While the findings of the report concluded that the majority of the mould was caused by “lifestyle and bathing habits”, RHB admit they should have been “more proactive” about the issue and accepted its approach had been “inappropriate”.
The housing association added: ”It is accepted that RBH should have undertaken remedial works having found the mould in its inspection of the property on July 14, 2020…
"It is accepted that various RBH teams were contacted and received further notifications about the mould from Awaab’s family during this time."