Mum jailed after five-month-old son drowned in bath while she was on the phone

Jimmy Nsubuga
·3-min read
Simone Perry, 27, and her five-month-old son Renzo Lake (PA)
Simone Perry, 27, and her five-month-old son Renzo Lake (PA)

The mother of a five-month-old boy who drowned while she was on the phone has been jailed for 22 months.

Simone Perry, 27, sent a WhatsApp message to a friend and made a phone call after leaving son Renzo Lake unattended, who slipped off a baby bath seat into 13cm of water and drowned.

Jurors heard claims she had left the bathroom at her Northamptonshire home for several minutes on January 27, 2019, assuming her son would be safe.

Perry was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Northampton Crown Court last month.

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Undated handout photo issued by Northamptonshire Police of five-month-old son Renzo Lake. Simone Perry has been jailed for 22 months at Northampton Crown Court after she was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter the death of her son Renzo Lake, who slipped off a baby bath seat into 13cm of water and drowned after she left him unattended in the bath. Issue date: Friday April 23, 2021.
Renzo slipped off a baby bath seat into 13cm of water and drowned. (PA)

Passing sentence at the same court on Friday, Judge Adrienne Lucking QC told Perry: “On discovering Renzo, you immediately called the emergency services and tried to resuscitate Renzo.

“When the paramedics arrived you told them that you had left your baby for about four minutes… and it was your fault.

“Subsequently you gave an account of events to a number of doctors but you omitted to tell them about using the phone.

“I am sure that was because you knew you had allowed yourself to be avoidably distracted.”

Perry initially denied using a phone in a police interview, the court heard, a lie the judge said was a deliberate attempt to mislead the investigation.

Judge Lucking added: “I am satisfied that you remain in denial of your responsibility for your son’s death and your lies were in part a reflection of the fact that you have not yet accepted that you are responsible for the death of your baby.

“This is an extremely serious offence resulting in the death of a baby and the consequences were completely avoidable.

“In my judgment, tragic though your situation is, I would be failing in my public duty if I did not impose an immediate custodial sentence.

“Babies and young children are at serious risk of death or grave injury if left unsupervised in a bath, and even more so if their carer is avoidably distracted.”

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A view of Northampton Crown and County Courts building
Simone Perry was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Northampton Crown Court. (PA)

Before the sentence, Perry’s barrister David Nathan QC urged the judge to pass a non-custodial sentence, saying her “lapse” had occurred amid an otherwise satisfactory standard of care.

Mr Nathan told the court: “Plainly this is a young woman with significant problems identified in the psychologist’s report. Nothing anyone can say can change what happened in this case.

“In a sense she is the victim in this case. I appreciate she caused this child’s death but she will live with this for the rest of her life.

“You know this is not a callous young woman. This is a someone who cares very deeply what happened… a woman who feels remorse for what happened to her child. She will bear the loss as much as anybody else in the years to come.”

Speaking after Perry’s conviction last month, Detective Sergeant Kerry Chavush, who investigated the case, stressed that experts recommend no child under five should be left alone in a bath.