A FATHER found the lifeless body of his seven-month-old baby son half-in and half-out of a cot that allegedly failed safety standards, a jury has heard.

The tiny child’s head had been caught in an opening that was too big for a baby’s bed and the youngster had died through strangulation as his parents slept in their home in Tang Hall, York, claimed John Elvidge, prosecuting.

The barrister claimed the bed’s maker and supplier Craig Williams knew his products were unsafe months before Oscar Abbey’s death.

But he continued to sell them and after he was told about the tragedy, he set up a new company to disguise his involvement in their sale, the court heard.

“It is the prosecution’s case that the defendant was aware of the risk to safety presented by the design,” alleged Mr Elvidge. “He chose to ignore this risk, probably in the desire to save or make money.”

Oscar’s father Charlie told police on the day of his death that he felt “devastated and heart-broken”, the jury at Leeds Crown Court heard.

Williams, 37, of Park View Road, Kimberworth near Rotherham, denies manslaughter through gross negligence and fraud by misrepresentation relating to a second child’s bed sale through the new company.

Joseph Bruce, 31, of Kimberworth Road, Rotherham, has admitted the fraud by misrepresentation charge and is not standing trial.

In a statement read to the jury, Mr Abbey described how he and his childhood sweetheart Shannon started a family together.

On November 3, 2016, he got up at 6.30am and went to the room where he had last seen Oscar asleep in his cot the previous evening.

Oscar was a lively child who wriggled about in his bed.

“I immediately saw Oscar was lying on his front with his whole body on the outside of the cot but with his head stuck,” the father’s statement said. “I felt he was very cold.”

Mr Abbey described how he carefully “threaded” his son’s body back through the opening, which was wide enough for the baby’s hips but not his head, until he was entirely back in the cot.

“I instantly realised he had gone when I turned him over and saw his face,” the father’s statement said.

“His eyes were slightly open and I could see the mouth was dry.”

His statement concluded: “I put my trust fully in the company we bought the bed from.”

Oscar’s mother Shannon, in her statement, said Oscar was awake when she arrived home from her late shift at McDonald’s at about 11.30pm on November 2.

She gave him a bottle and cuddled him until he fell asleep in his cot.

The next morning “I heard Charlie shouting and screaming ‘he’s not breathing’,” her statement said.

“I went onto the landing. Charlie was holding Oscar in both arms. I took one look at Oscar and went straight back into the bedroom to get my phone and phone an ambulance.”

The couple were told later the same day at hospital Oscar had died.

The mother’s statement also described how she had researched baby beds on the internet before choosing Craig Williams’ first company Playtime Beds Ltd of Sheffield.

The jury saw several Facebook Messenger exchanges between her and Craig Williams about the design of the gated cot which was the lower half of a bespoke bunk bed.

At one point she asked: “What age is the lower bed suitable for?”

William’s reply read to the jury was “any age”.

The trial continues.