Baby girl drowns in bath while father smokes and browses Facebook

Maya Devi

Daniel James Gallagher, 26, pleaded guilty for the death of his daughter following the mishap on 2nd April last year. In an extremely misfortunate turn of events, a baby girl drowned in a bath after being left unattended by her father. He went out to smoke and browsed Facebook for some time before he returned.

The baby Leah was left unattended for nearly seven minutes in the bath with almost ten to twelve centimeters of water in it. She was placed in the bath, and the water had been overflowing while her dad was around at their home in Queensland.

The matter was heard at the Brisbane Supreme Court, where Gallagher explained that he had left the baby alone to deal with some electrical issue at home. After heading out, he smoked a cigarette and browsed Facebook while the baby was alone in the bath. On his return, he found the baby lying unconscious in the bathtub filled with water to the brim.

The father panicked and immediately contacted the Emergency Services and even attempted CPR before the paramedics had reached. Leah's mother, Shaylan Gallagher, who split from Gallagher in 2020, rushed home immediately to save their child. All of this was futile since the baby was sadly declared dead after reaching Hervey Bay Hospital.

According to the Crown prosecutor Chris Cook, Leah had been left unattended for nearly seven minutes, and there was "no doubt" that the dad was remorseful, but this was certainly "not an accident". A similar incident had occurred only a few days before Leah drowned. Her mother had found the baby alone in the bath while her husband smoked. The mother was completely shattered and said that she experienced "great pain and physiological damage".

The father was handed a five-year sentence, which will be suspended after fifteen months.

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