Couple sentenced after baby's bath death

Wayne Dale and Lisa Passey were held responsible for their child's death Credit: West Mercia Police

The parents of a 13-month-old toddler who was left unsupervised in a bath and drowned, have been jailed for a total of eight-and-a-half years.

Wayne Dale and Lisa Passey left Kian Dale in a bath seat in their upstairs bathroom for at least 13 minutes while they were socialising with friends downstairs, Worcester Crown Court heard.

The bath seat which Kian was left in was clearly marked with a label which read: "Warning: Prevent drowning - always keep baby within arms' reach," Jonas Hankin QC, prosecuting, said.

Dale, 45, and his former partner Passey, 28, were found guilty after trial of manslaughter by gross negligence, following the September 2015 death.

After the two-week trial Dale was jailed for four-and-a-half years, and Passey, four.

During the trial, the jury heard that Passey had run her son an adult-sized bath and Dale then put the baby in the bath seat before leaving him.

While Kian was unsupervised in the bath, Passey had been in the garden of the couple's home in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, enjoying the sunshine and drinking coffee with a friend, while Dale was "socialising, listening to music and using his computer".

"When, finally, Wayne Dale went upstairs to the bathroom, baby Kian had drowned," Mr Hankin told the court.

He added: "He was found lying over the back of the bath seat with his head and upper body immersed."

Baby Kian was flown to Birmingham Children's Hospital for treatment but medics were unable to save him.

Following a two week trial, both defendants were found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence as well as cruelty to a person under 16 years. Dale was sentenced to four years six months and Passey to four years.

An NSPCC spokesman said: "These parents abandoned their responsibility to keep their child safe from harm - with devastating consequences.

"Parents must be aware of the dangers of leaving their children alone, and assess the risks of each scenario before they make a decision.

"There is a variety of advice on the NSPCC website about when it is appropriate to leave a child on their own, and anyone concerned about a child can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000."