August 1st, 2014

Drunken mother sleeps as toddler accidentally drowns and brain damages his infant twin brothers

NewsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh

The mother of a toddler who accidentally drowned one of his newborn twin brothers and brain damaged the other appeared in court today.

The woman, who had been drinking 9% cans of Special Brew slept through the horrific incident.

The three year old had decided to make his brothers “nice and clean” while their drunken mother was snoozing.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the heartbreaking details of how the child filled a bath with 10 inches of cold water, killing one infant and leaving the other with permanent brain damage.

The Liverpool Echo reports that the mother had sought refuge at a Merseyside home and was fleeing domestic violence at the hands of her ex partner.

She was staying with her ill mother in a small box room, sharing a bed with her toddler while the two infants slept in a chest of drawers.

Judge Mrs Justice Cox told the woman:

“The drink certainly played a part in going to sleep and failing to wake up when the toddler woke up and got out of bed.

“While you slept the toddler decided to make the twins "nice and clean" and he put them in the bath.

“When he woke you up you found both of your babies floating in the bath water. They were cold, naked and they weren’t breathing.”

“Your real punishment will lie in the images that will stay with you, possibly permanently, of what happened that day when you discovered your babies and tried to revive them.”

The mother, who suffered from sleep deprivation, woke up from her drunken slumber to find the infants “floating in the bath water.”

Both babies were given CPR and were taken to hospital where they were placed on life support with one child passing away a few days later in his father’s arms.

The court was told that the other infant, who suffered a cardiac arrest, will most likely be severely affected by cerebral palsy and will need full time care for life.

The woman, who pleaded guilty to neglect was handed a suspended sentence by the judge.

“This was not a case involving positive and deliberate acts of abuse or ill-treatment. I accept you intended no harm said Mrs Justice Cox

“But you chose to drink strong lager that day and its effects were devastating.

“You were responsible for those young children in your care and there was a serious breach of the standards they were entitled to have.”

The judge also revealed that the woman had been warned about drinking while caring for her children by health workers previously.

 “I have noted you had been advised by health workers as to the risks of alcohol misuse and caring properly for young children.

The woman’s lawyer said she would forever had to live with the tragedy.

 “She bears full responsibility - not a day goes by when she doesn’t think about what happened.

“Every morning she wakes up with a vision of her babies’ faces in the bath, a vision that will haunt her forever-more.”

“She wants it to be known that she holds herself fully responsible for what occurred and she wants her toddler son to know, if ever that time should arise when he is older, that through her plea of guilty she accepts full responsibility for what occurred and no blame should be laid against him.” He added.

The woman was described by the judge as “in general terms, a loving and caring mother who understands the duties and responsibility of motherhood”.

She added: “Your real punishment will lie in the images that will stay with you, possibly permanently, of what happened that day.”

The mother admitted three counts of child neglect and was handed a one year sentence, suspended for two years and a supervision order.