29 Oct 2013

Mother on trial for death of baby in bath

3:05 pm on 29 October 2013

A woman whose baby died after being left unattended in the bath has gone on trial in the High Court in Wellington.

The woman, whose name is suppressed, is accused of the manslaughter of the 13-month-old in November 2012.

Crown prosecutor Sally Carter told the court on Tuesday the accused woman left the baby alone in the bath for almost nine minutes while she made two phone calls.

She said when the mother returned to the bathroom the boy was under the water and not breathing. She took him to another room, rang 111 and began resuscitation.

Ms Carter said doctors were able to restore the baby's heartbeat at Wellington Hospital and he was flown to Starship in Auckland, but had suffered brain damage and was taken off life support four days later.

The woman's lawyer, Noel Sainsbury, told jurors the question for them is whether his client's mistake requires a criminal liability on top of the guilt she already feels.