Briton jailed for checking Facebook while son drowned

London, Oct 10: A British mother was sentenced to five years in prison for child cruelty after her two-year-old son drowned while she was checking Facebook on her phone, the media reported on Saturday.

Claire Barnett, 31, was criticised by the judge for her "bad parenting" and told she posed a danger to any child for whom she had responsibility during a hearing at Hull crown court on Friday, The Guardian reported.


Joshua Barnett died on March 17, 2014, after falling into a pond while playing in the garden at his home in Beverley, East Yorkshire.

Barnett was looking at her phone at the time of the boy's death, it was revealed. She attempted to save the child but he died in hospital later the same day.

While police interrogation, she gave varying accounts of what had happened in the garden of her former residence.

The court also heard how she had let Joshua play out in the road. Neighbours contacted social services after he narrowly avoided being hit by a car. Barnett pleaded guilty to four counts of child cruelty.

Judge Jeremy Richardson said, "Your son died due to your neglectful conduct. You will have to live with that for the remainder of your life. For a parent to behave as you did, repeatedly, amounts to consistently bad parenting.

"You pose very serious risks to any child for whom you might have responsibility."


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