Baby girl drowned in bath while her reckless dad smoked and browsed Facebook – days after near-miss doing the SAME thing | The Sun

A BABY girl tragically drowned in the bath while her reckless dad smoked a cigarette and browsed Facebook.

Daniel James Gallagher, 26, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of nine-month-old Leah Jayde in wake of her death on April 2 last year.

She passed away just days after a near-miss when Gallagher had left her alone in 10-12 centimeters of water.

The tot had been placed in the bath while the water was still running by her dad at their home in Queensland, Australia.

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard how Gallagher left Leah unsupervised to deal with an electrical issue in the property.

After heading outside the home, he smoked a cigarette before scrolling through Facebook for several minutes.


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When the 26-year-old returned to Leah, he found her unconscious and "floating face down" in the overflowing bathtub.

The frantic father called emergency services and attempted CPR before paramedics arrived to take over.

Leah's mother, Shaylan Gallagher – who split with her high school sweetheart Gallagher in 2020 – also rushed to the home to try and save her little girl.

The nine-month-old was taken to the Hervey Bay Hospital, where she was sadly pronounced dead.

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Crown prosecutor Chris Cook estimated Gallagher had left his daughter unattended for about seven minutes. 

Although he admitted there was "no doubt" the dad was remorseful, he said the infant's dead was "not an accident".

Mr Cook told the court: "It was beyond reckless. This was more than inattention, his actions caused an entirely avoidable death.

"The victim impact here is of course extreme."

In a cruel twist of fate, the court heard how a similar dangerous incident had taken place while Leah was in the care of her father.

Just days before the nine-month-old drowned, mum Shaylan had arrived at the home where she allegedly found her daughter in the bath alone while Gallagher was smoking.

His defence barrister Andrew Hoare said the 26-year-old has been "distracted by extraneous, irrelevant matters" and failed to realise the risk of drowning.

He added: "My client will always have the guilt of his conduct.

"My client has appreciated that his conduct won't just have an effect to him, but to everyone who loved his daughter."

It was beyond reckless. This was more than inattention, his actions caused an entirely avoidable death.

Leah's heartbroken mother Shaylan says she is serving a life sentence after being robbed of her baby daughter.

In a "profoundly moving" impact statement she said she has experienced " great pain and physiological damage".

She told ABC how she began "screaming and bawling her eyes out" after receiving the crushing call that Leah was unconscious.

The mum is now on a mission to raise awareness of child safety.

Shaylan said: "It's about following your gut feeling. If you feel that your child is not safe somewhere, act on it.

"I think it is just a constant reminder that you have your motherly instincts for a reason."

Justice Peter Applegarth said the first incident where he left Leah unsupervised should have served as a wake-up call to Gallagher.

The dad pleaded guilty to manslaughter after leaving her alone in the water.

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His duty of care breaches included leaving Leah unattended in the bath and leaving the water running.

He was handed a five-year sentence, which will be suspended after 15 months.

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