Otago Daily Times

No conviction in child’s death


GISBORNE: A grieving mother has been discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to the manslaught­er of her 11monthold son who died unattended in a bath.

The tired mother had left two of her young children unsupervis­ed in a bathroom when tragedy struck last year.

The two boys had been playing outside before the woman — who has permanent name suppressio­n — placed them in a bath tub and turned the shower on.

Justice Francis Cooke said in the High Court at Gisborne this week, usually the mother pulled the plug out of the tub every time.

But that day she must have been distracted and failed to so, he said.

Leaving the water running, the woman began doing other household chores including washing, mopping and dishes.

The older brother called out from the bath several times but the mum did not register it was a cause for alarm.

It took between 16 and 24 minutes for the bath tub to fill.

When the woman returned the younger boy was lying face down and unresponsi­ve.

She grabbed him out and attempted to do CPR.

The 11monthold was admitted to intensive care at Starship children’s hospital where investigat­ions showed that he had sustained nonsurviva­ble brain damage.

Justice Cooke said unfortunat­ely tragic cases like this happened from time to time.

The judge deemed a conviction was not necessary when the woman had appeared in court acknowledg­ing before her community that she made a mistake that resulted in the death of her child. — The New Zealand Herald

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