TODDLER DROWNS BROTHERS AFTER ALCOHOLIC MOTHER PASSES OUT – A toddler of just 3 years old decided to wash his newborn twin baby brothers just so they were clean.
As his alcoholic mother slept after passing out due to a heavy drinking session the toddler ran a bath containing some 10 inches of water.
Unknown to the toddler of the danger, he placed both newborn babies in the bath and proceeded to wash them. What occurred next was nothing short of a tragedy as one baby drowned to death whilst the other has been left permanently brain damaged.
When social workers gently questioned the boy, he told them that he just wanted to make them ‘nice and clean’ because mummy was sleeping and couldn’t clean them.
When the mother eventually awoke from her alcohol induced sleep she discovered the shocking consequences. The mother immediately dialed 999 calling for police and ambulance assistance but when paramedics arrived neither of the babies were responsive.
Paramedics continued to administer CPR and were rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in West Derby, Liverpool, where both children were put on life-support.
Just days later, one of the boys died in his father’s arms whilst the other, who had suffered from cardiac arrest survived but has been left permanently brain damaged. The court heard that as a consequence it is inevitable that the boy will suffer from cerebral palsy and will require 24 hour care for the remainder of his life.
The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a one-year suspected sentence for the crime of neglect.
It would appear easy to condemn the mother, however she herself had suffered years of abuse in a violent relationship and had only recently escaped to a Merseyside Home for refugees of abused women – it was determined that her drinking problem was due to years of violent abuse by her partner.
During sentencing on three counts of neglect the woman told the judge that the images from that day continue to haunt her and that the event was a culmination of events lasting several years.
The Liverpool Crown Court took into consideration her addiction to alcohol due to years of domestic violence and was finally given a one-year suspended prison sentence.
“The drink certainly played a part in you 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.” Judge Mrs Justice Cox
During the trial the mother recounted how she slept in just a single bed with her eldest son with the two newborn babies sleeping next to her in a makeshift bed from the chest of drawers.
Defending the mother, David McLaughlin told the court that this tragedy will forever haunt the mother and she had clearly demonstrated that she takes full responsibility – it was a tragedy born out of abuse; she will now spend the rest of her life living with the vision which is certainly punishment enough.
Mrs. Justice Cox summed up the trial by stating that this case was not one of deliberate abuse but rather evolved out of domestic violence and that she accepted that the mother meant the children no harm.
The judge went on to say that in general terms she is a loving and caring mother but there was clearly a serious breach of the standards of care these children were entitled to have.