Monday, 22 July 2013

FILICIDE: Australia: Children left in hot cars: Jayde Poole, Michelle Nguyen, Jie Hua Yu

Mother charged with manslaughter after baby car death

Jayde Poole, 28, was today charged with manslaughter and conduct endangering life over the baby's death on December 11 last year.
The Bendigo Magistrates Court heard that Poole had gone to buy takeaway food on the day of the death and had taken her six-year-old son and six-month-old baby daughter with her in the car.
She returned home about 4.45pm and went inside the house with her son.
At 7.20pm Poole discovered her baby daughter had remained in the backseat of the car. 
The court heard when she went to retrieve her the baby she was found to be in a critical condition and was later declared dead.
The court was told the temperature in Bendigo during the two and a half hour period the baby was left in the car was an average of 30 degrees.
Homicide Squad Detective Senior Constable Carla McIntyre told the court there was no suspicion Poole was affected by drugs or alcohol on the day.
She said that since the event Poole has received abusive phone calls and letters labelling her a murderer.
In one card sent to her letter box the words Tiny Baby were printed above a scrawled note that said 'Murdered'.
Detective McIntyre said police held concerns there could be further repercussions in the community for Poole.
Poole was granted bail.
She will return to court for a committal mention on September 4.
The magistrate placed a suppression order on both Poole's address and the address where the death took place.
Homicide Squad detectives have charged a 28-year-old Victorian woman following the death of a six-month-old baby last year.
The child was located in a car in Golden Square about 7.10pm on December 11, 2012.
Police and paramedics tried to save the girl at the scene before she was taken to Bendigo Hospital, where she later died.
The woman has been charged with manslaughter and conduct endangering life and will appear before the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court later today.
Fairfax Media reported in June that the prolonged investigation had taken a toll on the mother.
It is believed there have only been two charges of manslaughter relating to the death of a baby left in a car in the past 20 years.
Neither of those cases, which both resulted in convictions, related to a parent who said they had left their car forgetting a baby was inside.
It is not suggested this will be argued in this case.
The temperature had reached 30 degrees on the day the baby died, but had dropped to the high 20s when the baby was found in a Holden Commodore parked outside her grandparents' house.
It is not known who found the baby, or how long she had been in the car.
The mother is the coach of a local B-grade netball side, and said last month that the investigation had been difficult.
''I'm still under investigation so I really shouldn't say anything,'' she said, but would not comment on the specifics of the case.
Someone familiar with the case said the burden on the mother had been terrible.
''She should be given a chance to move on rather than having this hanging over her head,'' the person said.
The mother's sister declined to comment.
Police would not confirm the reason for delays in the case, but said forensic analysis had not taken longer than expected. The Forensic Services Centre in Macleod has been hampered by a lack of space and a increase in demand of about 10 per cent each year, but a spokeswoman said the investigation had not been affected.
It is unclear if police are still investigating the cause of death.
''The investigation is complex and remains active and ongoing and we will not be providing further comment,'' the spokeswoman said.
Michelle Nguyen, one of two people convicted of manslaughter for leaving their children in cars since 1992, had to wait six months until she was charged.
In February, she was sentenced to a maximum of four years' jail with a non-parole period of nine months for accidentally killing her 10-month-old daughter Thy Tran.
Nguyen had left Thy in the car on seven occasions in the three months leading up to the death in 2011. She had pleaded guilty.
Jie Hua Yu, whose son Brian died in the car while she played the pokies for two hours, was charged with manslaughter the day after his death. She was sentenced to four years' jail but allowed on immediate parole the day she was sentenced.
Ambulance Victoria released data on the number of children left in cars during 2011-12 on the day before the Bendigo baby was found.
In anticipation of the first heat wave of summer, group manager Brett Drummond warned that Ambulance Victoria had found that on a 29-degree day the inside of a car could heat up to 44 degrees within 10 minutes. It could reach 60 degrees within 20 minutes.
There had been more than 900 cases of children locked in cars, with almost a quarter of them occurring at home. Melbourne accounted for 87 per cent of cases, with only two calls in Golden Square and 15 in Greater Bendigo.
While the two most recent Victorian manslaughter convictions relate to mothers who knowingly left their children in the car, but left them there longer than intended, there have been several US prosecutions of parents who had left the car unaware their baby was still inside.
A Washington Post article, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2010, found that cases of babies dying of hypothermia from being left in cars had increased substantially in the US since the early 1990s.

The article quoted a memory expert as saying that, despite public perception, many parents whose children had died after being left in the car had no history of poor parenting.At that time, car-safety experts declared that passenger-side front air bags could kill children, and recommended that child seats be moved to the back of the car. It was then found that seats should be pivoted to face the rear and be placed behind the driver.
Kids and Cars, a US lobby group for increased car safety for children, have campaigned for all cars to contain sensors that would sound an alarm when the ignition was switched off but weight was detected on the rear seats of the car.
The organisation reported seven children died in hot cars in the US during 16 days in May. All of the children were left by a family member, and all but one child was under the age of tw

No comments:

Post a Comment