Tears af­ter guilty plea over tod­dler drown­ing in bath

Taranaki Daily News - - News -

A Levin woman looked to the skies and cried out­side court min­utes af­ter ad­mit­ting she killed her tod­dler.

In the High Court in Palmer­ston North last week , the woman pleaded guilty to a charge of man­slaugh­ter af­ter ne­glect­ing her duty to pro­vide the nec­es­sary care for her child.

The child, who had a his­tory of seizures, drowned in a bath at home on Oc­to­ber 25, 2012.

The woman, who has name sup­pres­sion, had two knives on the stove which she was pre­par­ing to use to take cannabis.

The child soiled their nappy, so the mother re­moved it and placed child in bath.

She then went out­side to have a cig­a­rette, where she talked to a friend and watched an­other child play for about 10 min­utes.

When she re­turned to the bath, her child was dead.

Jus­tice Young gave the woman her first strike warn­ing and re­manded her un­til a fu­ture date for sen­tenc­ing.

Wa­ter Safety New Zealand the the chief ex­ec­u­tive Matt Clar­idge said there were two or three baby bath-re­lated deaths a year.

‘‘The mes­sage is re­ally sim­ple: al­ways main­tain hand con­tact and never leave the bath­room.’’

Fig­ures from Wa­ter Safety New Zealand show eight people drowned in baths in 2012 and that 29 per cent of people who drowned at home were younger than 4 years old.

A cam­paign by Wa­ter Safety New Zealand and Plun­ket, where par­ents are given a non­slip bath mat at Plun­ket’s Well Child 5-month check-ups, has been run­ning since 2010.

Matt Clar­idge

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