Mum whose baby died in bath after she left him alone for five minutes jailed
A mum whose four-month-old baby drowned after slipping out of his bath seat has been jailed for 22 months.
Simone Perry, 27, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence following the death of son Renzo after she left him alone for five minutes, assuming he would be safe in five inches of water.
He died in January 2019, and Perry was convicted last month after a trial at Northampton Crown Court.
Judge Adrienne Lucking QC today told Perry: “On discovering Renzo, you immediately called the emergency services and tried to resuscitate Renzo.
“When the paramedics arrived you told them that you had left your baby for about four minutes… and it was your fault.
“Subsequently you gave an account of events to a number of doctors but you omitted to tell them about using the phone.
“I am sure that was because you knew you had allowed yourself to be avoidably distracted.”
Perry initially denied using a phone in a police interview, the court heard, a lie the judge said was a deliberate attempt to mislead the investigation.
Judge Lucking added: “I am satisfied that you remain in denial of your responsibility for your son’s death and your lies were in part a reflection of the fact that you have not yet accepted that you are responsible for the death of your baby.
“This is an extremely serious offence resulting in the death of a baby and the consequences were completely avoidable.
“In my judgment, tragic though your situation is, I would be failing in my public duty if I did not impose an immediate custodial sentence.
“Babies and young children are at serious risk of death or grave injury if left unsupervised in a bath, and even more so if their carer is avoidably distracted.”
Prior to sentence, Perry’s barrister David Nathan QC urged the judge to pass a non-custodial sentence, saying her “lapse” had occurred amid an otherwise satisfactory standard of care.
Mr Nathan told the court: “Plainly this is a young woman with significant problems identified in the psychologist’s report. Nothing anyone can say can change what happened in this case.
“In a sense she is the victim in this case. I appreciate she caused this child’s death but she will live with this for the rest of her life.
“You know this is not a callous young woman. This is a someone who cares very deeply what happened… a woman who feels remorse for what happened to her child. She will bear the loss as much as anybody else in the years to come.”
Detective Sergeant Kerry Chavush, from Northamptonshire Police’s Child Protection Team, said: “Renzo Lake was a much-loved baby boy and his death has left his family devastated beyond measure.
“This was an exceptionally tragic case to investigate, made harder due to Simone Perry’s initial omissions around her phone usage.
“The phone records showed that she had been on a 17-minute phone call and sent a WhatsApp message in the crucial minutes before she called 999.
“There are no winners in this case and it is so sad that a young baby who had his whole life ahead of him has been taken away from this world in such heart-breaking and dreadful circumstances.
“For Renzo’s family’s sake, I am glad it has come to a conclusion. My thoughts will remain with them long into the future.
“This case highlights the importance of constant adult supervision for babies and infants when in the bath and around water, and stands as a reminder that a bath seat is no substitute for constant adult supervision.”