Mother who left baby alone in bath is convicted of manslaughter
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A mother who left her baby son in the bath for five minutes, causing him to tragically drown, has been convicted of unlawful killing by gross negligence.
The woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons – initially stated she assumed her infant child would be safe in his bath seat when she left the room to see to another child.
However, phone records showed that she had been on a 17-minute phone call and sent a WhatsApp Message in the critical moments before she discovered the boy and called 999.
In the time she was gone the baby slipped out of his bath seat and drowned.
She maintained that she was only away from her child for five minutes but at Northampton Crown Court last week (March 26), the jury ruled that the woman was grossly negligent to leave the child, who was less than six months old at the time, alone at all, and that she should not have stepped away.
The woman will be sentenced in April.
Detective Sergeant Kerry Chavush from Northamptonshire Police’s Child Protection Team, said: “This was an exceptionally tragic case to investigate because at the heart of it lies a much-loved young baby who lost his life in entirely preventable circumstances.
“Expert evidence was provided during the trial that stated a bath seat should never be considered as a safety device and is never a substitute for adult supervision. The World Health Organisation also do not recommend leaving a child under five-years-old alone in the bath.
“There are no winners in this case and it is so sad that a baby boy who had his whole life ahead of him has been taken away from this world in such a heart-breaking and dreadful way.”