A Wellington woman spoke on the phone for more than eight minutes as her 15-month old baby drowned in the bath, a jury has heard.
The woman, who has name suppression, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter after leaving her son in the bath in their Wellington home in November last year.
Speaking in the High Court in Wellington this morning, Crown prosecutor Sally Carter said the woman had been bathing with her son that morning but got out, leaving him in the water.
She then made two separate calls to her parents, trying to arrange for a rug doctor to clean the carpets later that day.
"During that time the accused had left him unsupervised in the bathroom and when she returned to bathroom she found him underwater."
The boy was taken to Wellington Hospital and transferred to the intensive care ward at Starship Children's Hospital. His life support was turned off four days later.
Ms Carter said the woman's failure was a major departure from the reasonable care expected for her child, causing his needless death, and she should be held criminally responsible.
"No young child of that age should be left unsupervised in the bath."
However, the woman's lawyer, Noel Sainsbury, said the woman, and her family, had already suffered the loss of a child and her failings did not meet the threshold of criminal liability.
The woman had been keeping an eye on the child and calling out to him but was genuinely distracted.
"It is simply a distraction that happened, that we wish didn't, that had tragic circumstances. But that's where it ends. We don't need to take it any further."
The trial continues today, with the crown calling several witnesses.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Is a living wage the right move for Wellington City Council?Related story: Living wage voted in despite criticism