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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Boy's hospital death 'murder'
Great Ormond Street Hospital
The boy died at Great Ormond Street Hospital
Detectives are treating the death of a nine-year-old boy at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London as murder.

David Stocker, from Hornchurch in Essex, died eight days ago after showing symptoms of an unexplained illness.

Police are waiting for the results of tests which indicate the presence of poisons.

David was admitted to Oldchurch Hospital, Romford on June 21.

He remained there for four weeks and was sent home at the end of July.

But he was admitted to hospital again three days later with baffling symptoms.

The following day he was transferred to Great Ormond Street, an internationally renowned centre of excellence in child care.

Heart attack

David suffered a heart attack on Saturday August 18 and went into a coma.

His life support machine was switched off at 11.05pm on Monday August 20.

Speaking at St Pancras Coroners' Court on Tuesday, Detective Inspector Chantal McMurdie told Deputy Coroner Susan Hungerford that police are awaiting the results of a poisons test.

The police were called in on August 18 when medical tests revealed that the boy had high sodium levels in his system which were not the result of natural causes.

DI McMurdie said: "The cause of death was undetermined.

"The family are aware and the police are carrying out extensive enquiries to establish the cause of death."

Mrs Hungerford said she would adjourn the inquest for 28 days and then review whether the body could be released.

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