Mum's conviction over baby's death in bathtub bring fresh police safety warning

Infant wriggled out of a seat and drowned after being left alone for five minutes

Monday, 29th March 2021, 12:13 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 12:22 pm

Police admit there are "no winners in an exceptionally tragic case" after a Northamptonshire mum was convicted of manslaughter over a baby boy's tragic death in a bathtub.

The woman — who cannot be named for legal reasons — will be sentenced next month following a jury's majority verdict to convict her last week.

Northampton Crown Court heard the mother assumed the tot would be safe in his bath seat while she left the room for five minutes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Northampton Crown Court
Northampton Crown Court

Detective Sergeant Kerry Chavush from Northamptonshire Police 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.”

The child was less than six months old when he he slipped out of the seat and drowned during a five-minute period when the woman was out of the room.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents experts reported in 2015 that one in three accidental drowning deaths in children aged two or under involved bath seats.

Katrina Phillips, chief executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust said: "While a baby may look secure in a bath seat, they can easily wriggle or slip out. Or the seat itself can tip over and immerse the baby in water.

"Babies can drown in just a few centimetres of water, very quickly and with no noise or struggle. They can’t recognise danger and don’t have the strength to try to reach the surface.

"This means you need to stay with your baby all the time near water."