Mother Jailed For Checking Facebook On Her Phone While Her Son Drowned

| by Brendan Kelly
Claire Barnett with her son JoshuaClaire Barnett with her son Joshua

A mother has been jailed and charged with child cruelty after her son drowned while she checked Facebook on her phone.

Claire Barnett’s 2-year-old son Joshua Barnett was playing in the family garden outside of their home in Beverley, East Yorkshire, England, on March 17 last year when he fell into a pond.

Joshua drowned as his mother was inside the house, looking at her phone. He did not survive.

When Claire realized what had happened to her son and tried to save him, it was too late. He died in the hospital later that day.

Claire, 31, was criticized by the judge for her “bad parenting” in court on Oct. 9. He told her that she would pose “very serious risks” to any child she was responsible for.

When police interviewed Barnett, she gave differing accounts of what happened that day in her garden.

It was also revealed in court that the mother once let Joshua and another young child play in the road in August 2013. Neighbors called Social Services after the boy was almost struck by a car.

Claire pleaded guilty to four counts of child cruelty.

“Your son died due to your neglectful conduct,” Judge Jeremy Richardson told her. “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."

“I trust that you will never be allowed to have further unsupervised contact to any child,” he continued. “If you should have any further children, they will almost certainly be removed from you.”

Sources: Metro, The Guardian / Photo credit: Metro