Mar 9 2011 By Jack Maidment
Shannon Woods outside the court
Shannon Woods, 19, from West Molesey, was given a 12 month jail sentence suspended for two years having previously admitted to a charge of child cruelty by neglect.
A more serious charge of causing the death of a baby was left to lie on the file after she denied it.
Woods had been home alone with the eight-month-old child when the tragedy happened on December 18, 2009.
The court heard that Woods had told a number of lies to the police when they questioned her, saying she had gone to investigate a vase falling off a chest of drawers when she left the baby unsupervised.
But eventually the defendant came clean and admitted she had been checking Facebook on her mobile at the time of the incident.
The court was told that when she changed her account she told detectives: “I can't lie any more. It is doing my head in.”
Woods insisted that she had never meant her tiny child any harm. The court heard that the defendant had recently given birth to a baby boy who was now in foster care.
Judge Christopher Critchlow also imposed a 12 month supervision order and he said the offence deserved a jail term.
He said: “Quite why you left your child alone in the bath is not clear. It was criminal neglect of the most serious kind, having regard to the consequences of what happened.”
He added: “But I shall suspend it as an act of mercy.”