Baby died at home while mum was picking up friends from the pub
AN 11-WEEK-OLD baby had died in her bed at her family’s Toowoomba home while her mother was out picking up friends from a pub.
The then 23-year-old woman and her three children under six had been living with her aunt and uncle at a Rangeville home at the time in November 2019, Toowoomba Magistrates Court was told.
The woman later told police that she had fed the baby at about 11.50pm on the night of November 13, 2019, and had put her daughter to bed when she received a call from friends about midnight asking her to pick them up from a hotel and drop them home.
She returned to the home four hours later to be told by her aunt, who had been woken by one of the children asking where their mother was, that the baby wasn’t breathing and she had called triple-0.
She told police she had left her children without making any arrangements for someone to watch over them but all had been breathing and were well when she left, Senior Constable Willson said.
“She told police she had ‘f***ed up’,” he said.
Snr Const. Willson said an autopsy resulted in the cause of death being undetermined and the death was declared a Category 2 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
It was accepted that had the woman been at home at the time of the child’s death it might not have made any difference, he said.
The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children, pleaded guilty to three counts of leaving a child under 12 unattended.
Her barrister David Jones said his client was not accused of causing or contributing to the death of her child.
The incident had had such an effect on her she had attempted to take her own life, he said.
However, she was now living with her grandparents and had a good support network around her, Mr Jones said.
The Child Safety Department had become involved but that supervision would cease next month as she was considered capable of caring for her family.
Mr Jones said his client had resolved that the best she could do to make up for her shortfall was “to be the best mother she can be for her children”.
Acting Magistrate Roger Stark said these were “tragic circumstances”.
“There’s nothing I can do to punish you more than you’re probably feeling yourself,” he told her.
The woman was placed on 12 months probation.
If you have been impacted by pregnancy loss, SIDS or the death of an infant, you can receive 24/7 support from Red Nose https://rednose.org.au/ by calling 1300 308 307.
Originally published as Baby died at home while mum was picking up friends from the pub