Clark laundry trough.  tub sink
Clark laundry trough. tub sink

Mother accused of checking Facebook while baby girl drowned

A young Queensland mother accused of checking Facebook and tending to other children while her baby daughter drowned in a laundry sink has appeared in court again.

Lavinia Alison Murray, 21, is accused of leaving her seven-month-old baby in a makeshift bath in the laundry sink for up to 10 minutes on three separate occasions before returning a fourth time to find the little girl blue and unresponsive on February 5 this year.

Murray was granted bail at her last appearance on February 12, with the case mentioned in Murgon Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Police prosecutor sergeant Pepe Gangemi informed the court a brief of evidence had been submitted to Murray's lawyers on April 28.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair then adjourned the case to June for a committal mention.

Emergency crews were called to Murray's Murgon home in February after the baby girl was found unresponsive and was rushed to hospital

Tragically she was pronounced dead a short time later despite attempts to revive her.

Documents tendered to the court in February alleged Murray had filled the laundry sink with water and was washing the child with a pair of underpants before the drowning.

It's alleged she left the little girl on her own in the sink four times for a period of up to 10 minutes each time to spend time on Facebook and tend to her other children, aged one and four.

The mother was charged with manslaughter and was granted bail.

Police opposed Murray's bail at the time, citing fears they held for her safety after threats of retribution had been made against her.

Defence lawyer Alan Korobacz described the incident as "tragic" but insisted there was a "lack of intention" in the little girl's death.

"Very importantly your honour, she has much family support, you can see behind me uncles, mothers, fathers, aunties and they all wish to support her if she is granted bail because obviously she has gone and suffered a tragedy and also they want to help her with the other two children and they have all surrounded her with support," Mr Korobacz said.

The lawyer said Murray had no criminal history and a sentencing judge would need to take into account her age and the tragic circumstances of the baby's death.

"I submit an actual jail sentence would be unjust and therefore I ask that she be granted bail," he said.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair granted Murray bail, and said there was a "very low" risk that she would reoffend and noting that she had strong support from the community.

"The defendant has no previous history and I see no danger that she would fail to appear or surrender into custody, she has clear strong family contact and her life is in this area," Magistrate Sinclair said.

"For the purpose of assessing any risk given the nature of how this incident seems to have unfolded, I don't perceive there be a risk to either of her children, which would make it unacceptable given the matters that have been put in place to assist the defendant."

The case was adjourned to June 8 for a committal mention.

Originally published as Mother accused of checking Facebook while baby girl drowned appears in court



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