Failings and missed opportunities by health services contributed to the death of a baby thrown into a river by his father, a coroner has ruled.

This comes after an inquest concluded today into the death of 11-month-old Zakari Bennett-Eko, who was thrown into the River Irwell in Radcliffe by father Zak Bennett-Eko who was suffering psychosis, which made him believe his son was the devil.

Following an inquest at Rochdale Coroners Court, Coroner Joanne Kearsley issued a damning verdict criticising the agencies stating they had failed to ensure that Mr Bennett-Eko had access to proper mental health care in the months leading to his son’s death.

She said: “There were many failings and missed opportunities in the care of Zak.

“As important as they all are, many cannot be said to have any direct causal link to September 11.

“In fact, it must be remembered that in terms of causing Zakari’s death there is ultimately one person who caused his death.”

The inquest had heard how Bennett-Eko suffered from mental health problems and learning disabilities but, between May and September 2019, the necessary medication was not prescribed to him.

He had tried to seek help six times from his GP, at Rock Healthcare in Radcliffe, A&E at North Manchester General Hospital and the Mental Health Liaison Team between August 31 and September 11 2019.

He was last sent away from A&E just six days before his son’s death.

Ms Kearsley said: “On the balance of probabilities, his non-compliance with the necessary medication would have been identified at an earlier stage and it is possible that this could have averted the acute deterioration in his mental state.”

She added: “There is no evidence to suggest Zakari would have died had it not been for the individual suffering a psychotic episode.”

Bennett-Eko was since found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and detained on a hospital order.

Ms Kearsley ruled that Zakari’s death was caused by “unlawful killing” and said that lessons must be learned as a result.

She ended by giving her condolences to Zakari’s mother Emma Blood and the family.