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Multi-tasking manslaughter

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 11:20 am Tue 29th October 2013

A Wellington woman spoke on the phone for more than eight minutes as her 15-month-old baby drowned in the bath, a jury has heard.

Stuff News

She then made two separate calls to her parents, trying to arrange for a rug doctor to clean the carpets later that day.

This will be interesting to see how the jury view this; whether they excuse this mother’s negligence as she has suffered the loss of a child or they hold the woman to account for prioritising the housework above the well being of a child.

Updated 31 October The jury return their verdict.

A Wellington mother has been found not guilty of killing her 13-month-old son, who drowned in the bath while she spoke on the phone.

In the High Court in Wellington this afternoon, a jury of seven men and five woman found the woman’s fatal mistake to talk on the phone for eight minutes while her child bathed was not bad enough too warrant a conviction for manslaughter.


  1. WTF…..her failings did not meet the threshold of criminal liability

    Where the hell do they come up with these observations?

    Comment by Peter — Tue 29th October 2013 @ 11:27 am

  2. Getting to be second nature in this country. We are all aware how different the outcome would be if the parent was a dad. Amazed the Crown has not implicated the father.

    Comment by ian Andersongin — Tue 29th October 2013 @ 2:29 pm

  3. @ Peter. What you are saying, is that it doesn’t really matter what the mother was doing at the time, the question must be, would a reasonable person have gone and done something else and allowed themselves to be distracted while their 13 month old baby is in the bath?

    A 13 month old baby is a walking, almost talking baby.

    Should the mother have even been brought to court then?

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 31st October 2013 @ 1:47 pm

  4. Acquitted Mum speaks up.

    “This was a shallow bath, he was a robust and strong little boy, and if it can happen to him it could happen to anyone.”

    This Wellington taxi driver is charged with causing the death of his unborn child.

    Both going about their daily lives and have suffered the death of a child, then suffer criminal prosecution.

    Is this Police protection in the child industry becoming a little over zealous with these ‘criminal prosecutions.’

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 1st November 2013 @ 11:04 am

  5. This is interesting; another baby bath-drowning case goes to court.

    Story here.

    A Levin woman has been charged with manslaughter after the death of a 23-month-old.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 4th November 2013 @ 9:37 am

  6. #5 She shouldn’t be worried now. Precedent was set last week.

    Comment by golfa — Mon 4th November 2013 @ 9:49 am

  7. I disagree. We don’t yet know the gender of the deceased toddler.
    The previous case was a 13month old boy.
    Let’s await without prejudice, and see – if the latest infant is female – whether a different judgement is applied.

    Comment by OMG You're *&(^%^$&*^ — Mon 4th November 2013 @ 1:09 pm

  8. A woman from central Victoria has been ordered to stand trial for the manslaughter of her baby, who died after being left in a hot car.

    ABC News – Story here.

    Her lawyer told the court that all the evidence suggested Poole forgot her baby was in the car and argued that was not enough to prove she had been criminally negligent.

    But prosecutors said placing the baby in the car was a conscious act and the law should not make excuses for someone who forgets.

    The magistrate agreed there was sufficient evidence to convict Poole.

    She pleaded not guilty and was ordered to face trial by jury in the Supreme Court.

    The time may have come where women will face a lower threshold of criminal liability with respect to their children.

    It will be interesting to see how this case develops.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 17th December 2013 @ 2:08 pm

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