Dad Found Dead 11 Years After Toddler Blind Cord Death in Devastating Double Family Tragedy

Blind Cords are lethal, there are those that will try to convince you that a small cleat placed 1.6 metres off the floor on a window architrave will in fact do the job, providing a safe environment for children.

“Wind the cord onto the cleat” Problem number one – the cleat does not accept the full blind cord.

“Fit a second cleat” Problem number two – the cleat is exposed. An older child or adult can easily unwind the blind cord, leaving the cords exposed.

The other equally relevant issue is the industry publicity that promotes the idea that such blind cords are now superseded with new cordless blinds or blinds with roller fittings replacing all corded blinds. Unfortunately that’s just not true.

There are millions of Corded Blinds still in active use worldwide. From the obvious situations of rental properties to the homes of low income parents who simply can’t afford to replace their internal blinds, corded blinds remain in use.


The Cordaway Blind Cord Safety Device is approved by Kidsafe Australia

There is a solution – the Cordaway Safety Device – affordable, childproof and capable of accepting the full length of any indoor blind cord. Approved by Kidsafe Australia, the Cordaway units take five minutes to fit.

A snap cover keeps inquisitive little hands at bay.

Cordaway in Window 2

For $9.60 a window, do you feel it’s worth protecting the lives of your children?

The tragedy of a child’s death is a massive burden and frankly some people just can’t abide the pain.

This story is from Scotland…


Katie and Angus McLaughlin who struggled to deal with trauma of little Muireann

Dad found dead 11 years after toddler blind cord death in devastating double family tragedy

Angus McLaughlin never recovered from the loss of toddler Muireann, who died when her neck was accidentally caught in a looped blind cord in the family home.

A dad whose two-year-old daughter died in a horrific blind cord accident has been found dead after struggling with the trauma of the tragedy.

Angus McLaughlin sent his widow Katie a time-delayed email, which she got after his body was discovered.

He had never recovered from the loss of toddler Muireann, who died when her neck was accidentally caught in a looped blind cord in the family home.

Katie, 50, told how health worker Angus suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the little girl’s fatal accident.

And a legal wrangle with a lawyer over a £10,000 compensation payment added to his anguish.

Radiographer Angus, 50, was discovered in the family bathroom by their 15-year-old son Cian – who had also found Muireann – on March 16.

Katie, a part-time primary school teacher, said: “Before his death, he emailed me to say how much he loved me and that he always loved me and he loves the children.


Katie had tried to get help for Angus

“Angus had put a delay on the email so I didn’t get it until after he had died.

“In his email, he said he would be seeking out Muireann and they would look in on us.”

The toddler died after climbing on to a box to wave goodbye to her gran at her home in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, in February 2008.

She tripped and knocked herself unconscious as her neck got caught in the looped blind cord. She died a short time later from strangulation.

Muireann is survived by her sister Aoife, 17, brother Cian, sister Aine, 10, and brother Ruadhan, five. Katie added: “Angus fought depression and PTSD after Muireann died. He always blamed himself for her death because he couldn’t revive her.

“Angus felt he should have been able to save her, even though a Fatal Accident Inquiry absolved him of any blame.

“It said she would have died within 20 seconds, even if someone had been in the room. But that was no help to him.

“The pain was too great and, in the end, it overwhelmed him. I’m utterly devastated. I knew he was struggling and had tried to get help for him.

“But it was hard to get Angus to seek help. He was having nightmares and flashbacks and wasn’t in a good place.”

Angus had been leading a claim against lawyer and employment tribunal judge Ian Smith Watson, who the couple alleged withheld £10,000 in compensation which was awarded after Muireann died.

Insurers acting for the company who installed the blinds agreed to pay out £100,000 in 2011 but the couple claimed that Smith Watson only gave them £90,000, despite his fees already being paid.

Katie said Angus – who had just started a new job at a private hospital in Glasgow – asked her to write to Smith Watson to again make a request for their cash.

She received a reply three days after Angus died. Smith Watson’s solicitor said he was not liable to make the payment.


Angus with Katie and their kids, left to right, Aoife, Ruadhan, Cian, and Aine

Katie added: “Angus felt he should have been stronger to support the family and deal with Ian Smith Watson.

“On the Friday before he died, Angus insisted I write to Mr Smith Watson, asking him to return the money to us and informing him of our intent to pursue a complaint against him with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission if he refused.

“It was all too much for him in the end – it overwhelmed him.”

Last September, Smith Watson was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal in Edinburgh over his handling of a case involving the death of a newborn baby in 2008. The proceedings were brought by the mother, who had asked Smith Watson to make a medical negligence claim against the hospital.

She claimed he did not explain to her how legal fees and court costs were deducted from her final compensation payout. He was censured and fined £2000. Smith Watson declined to comment.

Katie revealed that she has moved out of the family home. She and Angus chose to remain there following
Muireann’s death. But the mum has ruled out ever returning after being hit with the second tragedy.

She and the children are now living with relatives and she plans to sell the house.

However, Katie admitted that she is worried about the future.

A JustGiving page has been set up to pay Angus’s funeral costs and has already reached more than £6000.

Pupils at Alva Academy and strangers have also been making donations to the family.

Katie, who was also diagnosed with PTSD after Muireann’s death, said: “I now have four children to support on a part-time salary. My health is not good enough for me to go full-time.

“Any insurance payout will not be enough to support the family.

“We’ve had tremendous support from the local community. Pupils at the school have been giving our children cash and strangers have been coming to the door with money – sometimes as much as £150.”

She added: “The ripple effect when a child dies is huge. Two of our children have a sister that they never met.

“You just don’t lose your child but your future with them.”


Lawyer Ian Smith Watson

Angus’s funeral will take place at Falkirk Crematorium on Friday at 2.30pm.

His ashes will be scattered on Muireann’s grave and the isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, where he grew up.

Keith Brown, SNP MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, who has backed the family in their dispute with Smith Watson, said: “This was an absolutely tragic event and my sympathies are with the McLaughlin family for what they have suffered.

“I’ll continue to lend my full support to the family in their fight for compensation and I’m happy take up the case with the relevant organisations on their behalf should they wish me to do so.”

Police Scotland said: “Police in Forth Valley were called to a property in Menstrie on March 16 by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“A 50-year-old man was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.”


Don’t delay. Buy Cordaway safety devices now. Simply click ‘Buy Now’ or go to

Single units to 5 in quantity $9.60 each. Multiple units (over 6 units) $8.60 each plus shipping – standard Australia Post rates.


Cordaway was designed by an expert Window Installer, Mr Graeme Andersen. Graeme is a parent of 3 young boys and was simply gobsmacked that there was no effective product on the market protecting young children and toddlers from the lethal danger of Blind Cords.

A big thank you to Graeme, for his vision and understanding.

Cordaway – Keeping your children safe.


To be Kid-Safe, it’s really simple. Fit a Cordaway Blind Cord Safety Device and ensure real safety for your family.

Toddler dies after being tangled in Blind Cords.

It’s not unusual when Cordaway publish a blog or Facebook post, for people to inform us that “Blind Cords are no longer a problem as modern blinds have different mechanisms” or the blind cords are now ‘safely stowed’. Unfortunately this simply isn’t the case for the vast majority of internal blinds in current operation residentially.

It is still a major problem and very young children are still dying. Quite simply the solution to blind cord storage must be 100% failsafe. No ifs, no buts! The Cordaway product has a snap-on protective cover. Placed as required by current federal regulations (see ACCC/blind cords) 1.6m above floor level, the Cordaway device accepts the total length of the blind cords.

In Britain not more than a month and a half ago, the Coroner’s Court in Rochdale dealt with the very sad case of the death of Macy Craig – aged 2.

Here is the report from Britain’s Sun Newspaper.

Girl, 2, died after being strangled by bedroom blind cord when she went for an afternoon nap

A TWO-year-old girl tragically died after being strangled by a blind cord in her bedroom when she went for an afternoon nap, an inquest has heard.

An inquest into Macy Fletcher’s death heard she was found upright but unresponsive next to the window by her mother on January 9 when she went to check on her.


Little Macy was found accidentally strangled by her mum Credit: Cavendish Press


Macy’s mum has launched a petition to get looped cords on blinds banned Credit: Cavendish Press

The blind cord was wrapped around her neck, Rochdale Coroner’s Court was told.

Macy’s mother Karoline Craig untangled her before ringing 999. Paramedics rushed the child to hospital, but she could not be saved.

According to figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) there have been 29 toddler deaths connected to blind cords  since 1999.

Macy’s family have launched a Parliamentary petition, calling for looped cords on blinds to be banned. More than 500 people have already pledged their support.

The coroner who dealt with the tragic case is to write to the government to highlight dozens of similar deaths in the last 20 years.

Macy’s loved ones, many of whom wore t-shirts with her adorable face at the inquest, sobbed as harrowing details of the accident were played out in court.

The tot had been to nursery in the morning before going for lunch.

Macy then went upstairs to play and have a nap, as usual, while her mum was cleaning.

Karoline said her daughter enjoyed looking out of her bedroom window and often messed with the panels of the blind, so she removed them just leaving the runner and the cord.

“Macy had such an infectious smile and her giggle, well, that would have you laughing with her” Macy’s mum Karoline Craig

When Karoline went upstairs to check on Macy, she realised “something very tragic had happened”, she told the court.

Macy was pronounced dead after arriving at Royal Oldham Hospital shortly after 3pm.

The fact Macy was tall for her age and that she was stood on a mattress on the floor – put there in case she fell out of bed – meant the cord was within her reach, the court heard.

DI Lindsay Booth, who carried out an investigation into the death, ruled out third party involvement

Regulations were brought in 2014 meaning all blinds sold and installed must have the cords attached to the wall; have a chain break feature; or a wand-style device to open and close them.

The landlord of the property, on Oldham Road in Royton, Greater Manchester, said the blinds had been fitted by a local firm when he bought it in December 2010.


They hadn’t been re-fitted as the landlord wasn’t aware they needed to be.

He said the property was checked before Miss Craig was given the keys in December 2016 and that the blinds were ‘fully functional and in good working order’ as far as he was aware.

Assistant coroner Julie Robertson recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Speaking after the hearing, Karoline paid tribute to her ‘happy smiley little girl who melted everyone’s hearts’.

Karoline said: “Macy had such an infectious smile and her giggle well that would have you laughing with her.

“What has happened in this tragic accident, we as a family are still trying to come to terms with.

“Macy will be forever missed and always in our hearts. Our hearts are all left with a massive hole but Macy will always be in our thoughts.

“She is deeply missed and loved by all her family. Macy will always be our precious little angel.

“We as a family appreciate people’s support, but would now like to be left alone to grieve and process what has happened.”

Blind cord safety – the do’s and dont’s

  • One simple way to make the blinds safe is to cut the cords off the blind. This will remove the ability to lift and or lower the blind but the slats can still be tilted using the wand.
  • Don’t just tuck the cord behind the slats.
  • Attach a security device so any cord can be securely tidied away out of reach.
  • Place your child’s cot or bed far enough away from any window blind.
  • Don’t put any sofa, chair, table or shelves near a window as children like to climb about.
  • When buying a new blind look for one which is “safe by design,” such as ones that are cordless or have concealed cord systems.
  • Some blinds come with chain break connectors that fall apart when undue pressure is applied.

The coroner said she would compile a report and write to the housing minister and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents about the need for a regulatory body for landlords, to keep them up to date with the latest health and safety advice and regulation details..

The family’s petition can be viewed and signed here.

To donate to a Just Giving fund launched to help Macy’s family, click here.


Macy had spent the morning at nursery before having an afternoon nap Credit: Cavendish Press


Macy’s mum said she would always be their ‘precious little angel’ Credit: Cavendish Press


Cutting the cords is unnecessary when the Cordaway device has been fitted. Click on the ‘Shop Now’ button to order your Cordaway devices.

Each unit is $9.60 plus postage. With orders of 6 or more the price drops to $8.60 with postage.

kidsafe-color-btext-400Don’t Delay!! Protect your loved ones now. Fit Cordaway, as approved by Kidsafe Australia. Be Safe, Be Sure.

Cordaway – the safe alternative.


To be Kid-Safe, it’s really simple. Fit a Cordaway Blind Cord Safety Device and ensure real safety for your family.