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Mum and toddler hospitalised with carbon monoxide poisoning after exhaust 'prank'

Mirror logo Mirror 10/05/2017 Chris Knight
Credits: Newcastle Chronicle © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Newcastle Chronicle

A mum and her toddler daughter were hospitalised with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after a ‘prank’ went horrifically wrong.

The exhaust of Jennifer Storey’s car was stuffed with expandable foam by yobs while it was parked outside her home in Gosforth, Newcastle.

But unbeknown to the 28-year-old, she and 18-month-old Lily had been breathing in deadly gases while driving to the playgroup at Gateshead Central Nursery.

It was only after her daughter had gone off to play that Jennifer spotted the foam sticking out of the rear of her Nissan Micra, the Chronicle Live reported.

She said: “We were running late and I heard a strange noise, but I thought nothing of it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it didn’t seem anything dangerous.

“Once I got out there, I spotted the exhaust was completely blocked.

“I was absolutely shocked, I just started crying.”

Jennifer called the AA and engineers immediately raised fears about potential carbon monoxide poisoning, dialling 999.

Credits: Jennifer Storey © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Jennifer Storey The poisonous gas has no smell or taste, and exposure to high levels can kill. Both Jennifer and Lily were taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead for tests.

Jennifer, 28, said: “At the hospital, they took blood from us within minutes and checked our oxygen levels, our eyes and mouths.

“They were so good with us, they had our results within minutes.

“My daughter was crying her eyes out, we’re very lucky - it could have been a lot more serious.”

Both Jennifer and Lily were found to be in the clear and the pair returned home before calling police.

Credits: Newcastle Chronicle © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Newcastle Chronicle Mum-of-one Jennifer has since revealed the incident has made her feel unsafe in her own home, and hopes the culprit was playing a prank rather than launching a targeted attack.

She added: “I’m scared it’s going to happen again. I don’t know if someone has targeted me, or if it safe to park outside my house.

“Who carries expandable foam around with them? It’s not something you have in your pocket.

“I hope it is someone who thought it was a funny prank, it takes it to another level otherwise. For them to target a family car is sickening.”

Northumbria Police is investigating the isolated incident, which is believed to have happened between 4pm on Monday, May 1 and 1pm on Tuesday, May 2.

Neighbourhood inspector Julie Rana said: “This is a really stupid and irresponsible thing to do that will cause significant amounts of damage to vehicles.

“People may think doing this kind of thing is funny but those responsible are committing a criminal offence and we will take firm action against anyone found to be involved.”

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