Mother who let toddler drown not guilty of murder

A mother accused of letting her daughter drown in the bath has been found not guilty to murder on the grounds she was suffering from a depressive illness.
Nanjing Night Net

The woman, now 27, has been on trial in the NSW Supreme Court for the death of the 17-month-old girl in a Wollongong suburb in July 2009. Neither can be named for legal reasons.

The court was told the toddler drowned after her mother put her in the bath and left the water running while she closed the bathroom door and sat in the lounge room.

After finding her daughter floating in the tub a short time later, she dressed her in a christening gown and lay her on a bed.

It was two days before she told anyone of the child’s death. During that time she slept beside the dead child and attempted suicide.

The jury of three women and nine men retired to consider its verdict this morning.

This afternoon, a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murder was returned.

The woman was automatically convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter. She was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Thursday.

After the verdict, the woman’s mother, who sat through the trial, cried and thanked her counsel, Dina Yehia, SC.

The critical issue for the jury was whether the woman was suffering a substantial impairment or abnormality of the mind at the time her daughter died, such that her criminal responsibility for the death should be reduced from murder to manslaughter.

❏ Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.