Supplied  Shirley Grenfell's granddaughter Chanell Grenfell died in the bath. Picture:
Supplied Shirley Grenfell's granddaughter Chanell Grenfell died in the bath. Picture:

Baby drowns in tub after gran’s fatal move

An 11-month-old baby drowned after her grandmother left her alone in the bath for three minutes.

Shirley Grenfell, 53, of the UK, was spared a prison sentence on Wednesday after little Chanelle died at her village home, The Sun reports.

Ms Grenfell put the toddler in the bath before leaving the bathroom. When she returned a short time later, Chanelle was under the water and despite resuscitation attempts, she died in hospital the following day.

Shirley Grenfell, 53, has been spared a prison sentence after her granddaughter drowned while in her care. Picture: Wayne Perry/The Sun
Shirley Grenfell, 53, has been spared a prison sentence after her granddaughter drowned while in her care. Picture: Wayne Perry/The Sun

The baby's mother has urged all parents and carers to never leave their children alone in the bath and said she hopes Chanelle knows "her mummy loves her so, so much".

Grenfell, of Cornwall, England, admitted cruelty to a person under the age of 16.

She was handed a year in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Truro Crown Court on Wednesday.

She had initially denied a charge of manslaughter after her granddaughter's death on Boxing Day 2017.

She faced a trial, but jurors were unable to reach a verdict.

Prosecutor Joanna Martin read aloud the statement from Chanelle's mum.

"Chanelle was a much-loved character and she is well and truly missed," it read. "I miss her every day and I hope she's OK there, and knows that her mummy loves her so, so much.

"I hope this tragedy makes people think about leaving their kids in the bath alone."

 

Simon Laws, Grenfell's lawyer, told the court: "This case is a world away from many cases of child cruelty that involve an adult setting out to do harm to a child.

"It's in a completely different moral universe to cases of that kind."

He said Grenfell had suffered "severely", adding: "At the end of her police interview she said it was the last thing she thinks of at night and the first thing she thinks of in the morning. That is still the case.

"This terrible tragedy is with her all the time."

Judge Juliet May said Grenfell let some water out of her bath before bathing Chanelle.

The defendant left the little girl for just three minutes - but found Chanelle lying underwater on her back when she returned.

 

"She must have slipped down in the bath while you were next door," the judge said.

"Chanelle lost her life due to what happened that day. It was a shocking consequence. She was just 11 months old - a life cut short.

"The hopes and dreams that are always attached to a baby were not realised. The effects on you have been severe and they remain on you.

"It must be a custodial sentence as your actions led to a death. I have no hesitation at all in ordering the sentence to be suspended."

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

 

Originally published as Baby drowns in tub after gran's fatal move



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