A three-year-old boy drowned his newborn twin brother and left the other permanently brain damaged as he tried to bathe them while their alcoholic mother slept, Daily Mail UK reports
The boy said he wanted to make his siblings ‘nice and clean’ after their mother passed out having drunk four cans of super-strength lager.
The shocking sequence of events emerged in court when the mother – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – was given a one-year suspended prison sentence for neglect.
She had sought refuge at a Merseyside home with her children after escaping a relationship of domestic violence, Liverpool Crown Court heard Thursday. The jury heard she slept in a single bed with her eldest son, with the newborn babies cradled together in a drawer.
The mother, an insomniac, fell asleep in the afternoon after drinking four cans of Special Brew, which is nine per cent alcohol.
The toddler woke up and ran a 10-inch bath of cold water.
The mother found her infant children naked and unconscious, not breathing, when she awoke.
Judge Mrs Justice Cox said:
‘The drink certainly played a part in you 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.’
The mother called police and paramedics, telling a 999 operator that she had found her newborn twins unresponsive.
Both babies were given CPR and were taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in West Derby, Liverpool, where they were put on life support. Days later, one of the boys died in his father’s arms. His brother, who suffered a cardiac arrest, was left with severe brain damage.
The court heard he is likely to be severely affected by cerebral palsy and will need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.
David McLaughlin, defending, said the mother will be haunted by what happened forever.
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. 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.’
She was handed a one-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a supervision order after pleading guilty to three counts of neglect.