Mother who left baby alone in bath convicted at Northampton Crown Court of unlawful killing by gross negligence
A jury has found a mother guilty after she left her infant child alone in a bath seat for five minutes
A mother has been convicted of manslaughter for leaving her infant child unattended in a bathtub for five minutes.
A jury at Northampton Crown Court today (March 26) ruled a woman was grossly negligent to leave the baby alone in a bath seat while she was seeing to a child in another room.
The trial heard how the mother - who cannot be named for legal reasons - assumed her infant child would be safe in his bath seat.
Tragically, he slipped out in the five minutes she was out the room and drowned. The child was less than a year old.
The case also heard how the mother told police in her first interview that she was not on her phone while attending to the children and the mobile had "100 per cent been on charge" in her bedroom.
But the jury heard in evidence how phone records later showed she had hung up from a 17-minute-long call in the moments before she discovered the child and rang 999.
When she took to the dock, the mother told the court the phone call would not have been enough to distract her and she often multi-tasked with her phone. She maintained that she was only away from her child for five minutes and believed the child should not have been able to wriggle out the seat.
However, the jury ruled she should not have stepped away at all and convicted her of unlawful killing through gross negligence.
She will be sentenced in April.
The court heard how the bath seat used by the mother came with warning labels never to leave children unattended in one. Her defence barrister told the court that this label was difficult to read.