A UK mother has been sentenced to three years jail after her 13-month-old daughter drowned in the bath while she was distracted on the phone.
Sarah Elizabeth Morris was convicted of manslaughter over her daughter Rosie’s 2015 death at their home in Greenfield, Flintshire.
The court heard the 35-year-old had left Rosie in the bath alone with her twin brother while she had a phone conversation with her then partner Sarah Swindles for almost 50 minutes, according to Wales Online.
“There were prolonged periods when she was not checking on Rosie and had forgotten about her and the danger she was in,” prosecuting officer Oliver Saxby, QC, told the jury.
He said Morris was preoccupied with other tasks around the house while she was on the phone and only checked on the twins after Ms Swindles told her to do so.
In a police statement provided immediately after the child’s death, Morris told investigating officer’s she was in the kitchen “doing the washing” and heating towels to warm them for when the twins were out of the bath.
When Morris eventually returned to the bathroom, she found Rosie lying on her back in the bath.
According to Wales Online, court documents revealed that instead of calling emergency services, Morris called a friend, Jemma Egerton, and told her Rosie wasn’t breathing and she didn’t know what happened to her.
After a further 10 minutes on that phone conversation, Ms Egerton advised Morris to call paramedics.
Instead, the mother reportedly rushed out onto the street holding Rosie upside down and screaming for help. Her neighbour then called emergency services before taking Morris and the lifeless child back inside.
Ms Swindles, who is no longer in a relationship with Morris, gave evidence during the trial and told the court during the pair’s 47-minute conversation, she recalled hearing her partner in the bathroom with the children and that she said she was going to get towels and roll a cigarette to smoke.
Child Protective Services also gave evidence during the trial providing evidence that Morris had been made aware, on a number of occasions, of the dangers involved in bathing young children.
“On this particular day, she chose to put her own needs above those of her children, resulting in Rosie’s tragic death from drowning,” CPS representative Nicola Rees said.
Morris gave evidence during the trial and when cross-examined was accused of “not thinking of them enough,” while leaving them unattended in the bath while she did other things.
“These were my children and I loved them,” Morris replied to the accusations.
“I didn’t think anything bad would happen to them.”
Following the verdict, Rosie’s paternal grandmother read a victim impact statement to the court.
“On July 29, 2015 my life changed forever – She was lying dead in a crib in the hospital – I never thought my beautiful granddaughter would lose her life to total and utter negligence,” she said.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019