Before HM Senior Coroner Alison Mutch OBE
Manchester South Coroner’s Court*
1 Mount Tabor Street, Stockport SK1 3AG
Starting on Monday, 12 October 2020, expected to last for two weeks
The inquest into the death of Alfie Gildea is to start on Monday, 12 October 2020. Alfie was four months old when he was found with head injuries by his mother. He died two days later on 14 September 2018.
Samuel Gildea, Alfie’s father, was later found guilty of manslaughter after admitting an 'act of deliberate and unlawful violence which involved rigorous and violent shaking,' as well as coercive control. He is now serving a sentence of 19 years’ imprisonment. Samuel experienced mental ill health and had a number of previous convictions, including six involving domestic violence. He had been physically and emotionally violent towards Alfie’s mother Caitlin and had been the subject of a Domestic Violence Protection Order, but no charges were brought by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Alfie’s family describe him as a very happy and contented little baby who had a heart-warming smile. They have been devastated by his death. The family hope the inquest will look into wider circumstances surrounding Alfie’s death including:

  • Whether risk assessments were carried out by the police in response to the previous violent incidents between Samuel and Caitlin
  • Communication between the police and Crown Prosecution Service
  • Information sharing across agencies involved
  • Why Alfie’s mother was not fully informed about her partner’s previous convictions involving domestic violence, through the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme known as ‘Clare’s Law’
  • What was known by the Social Services and whether they have used their safeguarding systems effectively to protect Alfie and his family.

Caitlin McMichael, Alfie’s mother said: “If only I had known what the police knew, I would never have allowed Sam near my children. Amongst other questions, I want this inquest to give me an answer as to why I was not told about his background by the agencies involved.”
Selen Cavcav, Senior Caseworker at INQUEST said:This case engages a number of serious concerns in relation to how safeguarding agencies and the criminal justice system responded to information regarding domestic violence and coercive and controlling behaviour. This inquest must provide proper scrutiny of any systemic failings which put Alfie and his mother at such risk.”


For further information and to note your interest, please contact INQUEST Communications Team: 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]; [email protected]. A photo of Alfie is available here

The family will not be able to comment until the end of the inquest. 

*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, members of the public or media who wish to attend the inquest in person or receive the audio link must apply to the coroner in advance [email protected]

INQUEST has been working with the family of Alfie Gildea since November 2019. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group member Ruth Bundey of Harrison Bundey Solicitors.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS, also known as “Clare’s Law”) enables the police to disclose information to a victim or potential victim of domestic abuse about their partner’s or ex-partner’s previous abusive or violent offending. More information.