Tragedy as toddler accidentally drowns twin baby brothers
A toddler drowned his newborn twin brothers – killing one and leaving the other permanently brain damaged – in a tragic attempt to bathe them.
The good-intentioned three-year-old said he wanted to make his siblings “nice and clean” after their alcoholic mum drank cans of super-strength lager and fell asleep.
The harrowing details emerged in Liverpool Crown Court when the mum – who along with her children cannot be identified for legal reasons – was sentenced for neglect.
She had sought refuge at a Merseyside home with her children after fleeing domestic violence at the hands of her then partner.
Liverpool crown court heard how she would routinely sleep in a single bed with her eldest with her newborn babies cradled together in a drawer.
The mum, who also suffered sleep deprivation, fell asleep one afternoon having drank four cans of 9% Special Brew.
Tragedy struck when the toddler woke up and ran a 10-inch bath of cold water.
Judge Mrs Justice Cox told the mum: “The drink certainly played a part in 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.”
Paramedics and police were called by the panicking mum, who told a 999 operator that she had found her newborn twins unresponsive.
Both babies were given CPR and were taken to Alder Hey and put on life support.
Sadly, one of the tots died days later in his dad’s arms. His sibling, who suffered a cardiac arrest, was left with severe brain damage.
The court heard that his long-term prognosis was not known but that he is likely to be severely affected by cerebral palsy and will need round-the-clock care through his life.
David McLaughlin, defending, said the mum’s anguish would never go away.
He said: “She bears full responsibility – not a day goes by when she doesn’t think about what happened.
“Every morning she wakes up with a vision of her babies’ faces in the bath, a vision that will haunt her forever-more.”
He added: “She wants it to be known that she holds herself fully responsible for what occurred and she wants her toddler son to know, if ever that time should arise when he is older, that through her plea of guilty she accepts full responsibility for what occurred and no blame should be laid against him.”
The judge handed the mum a suspended sentence – sparing her from an immediate spell behind bars.
She revealed that the mum had previously been warned by health workers of the dangers of drinking while caring for children.
She told her: “This was not a case involving positive and deliberate acts of abuse or ill-treatment. I accept you intended no harm.
“But you chose to drink strong lager that day and its effects were devastating.
“I have noted you had been advised by health workers as to the risks of alcohol misuse and caring properly for young children.
“You were responsible for those young children in your care and there was a serious breach of the standards they were entitled to have.”
The judge described the mum as “in general terms, a loving and caring mother who understands the duties and responsibility of motherhood”.
She added: “Your real punishment will lie in the images that will stay with you, possibly permanently, of what happened that day.”
The mum admitted three counts of child neglect and was handed a one year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a supervision order.
The court heard how there was further heartache following the death of the defendant’s own mother just two weeks after the tragedy.
Source THE MIRROR