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Mother jailed after her baby son drowned in the bath while she made a phone call and sent a text message

Written by on 24 April 2021

A mother has been jailed after her baby son drowned in the bath when she left the room to make a phone call. 

Simone Perry, 27, left five-month-old Renzo Lake unattended on a baby bath seat for several minutes while she sent a WhatsApp message to a friend and made a call on 27 January 2019.

Renzo then slipped on the bath seat into 13cm of water and drowned.

The mother immediately called the emergency services to her Northamptonshire home and tried to resuscitate Renzo when she realised what had happened, but he was unable to be saved.

Perry was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Northampton Crown Court in March and has now been sentenced to 22 months in prison.

Passing sentence, Judge Adrienne Lucking QC told Perry: “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.

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“I am sure that was because you knew you had allowed yourself to be avoidably distracted.”

The mother initially denied using a phone in an interview with police, the court heard.

Simone Perry has been jailed for 22 months Image: Simone Perry has been jailed for 22 months

“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,” the judge added.

He said the baby’s death had been “completely avoidable”.

Expert evidence heard during the trial had recommended that children under five are not left alone in a bath, and warned a bath seat is not a substitute for adult supervision.

Perry’s defence team had argued her care for the child was otherwise satisfactory but this had been a “lapse” in her judgment.

“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,” said David Nathan QC.

“You know this is not a callous young woman. This is 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.”