South Yorkshire four-year-old drowned in bath after slip - inquest

The house in Chaucer Road, Mexborough
The house in Chaucer Road, Mexborough

A four-year-old girl fell into the bath and drowned after slipping on a mat as she was trying to play with her rubber ducks, an inquest heard.

A bruise found on Summer Shaw indicated the youngster may have hit her head as she slipped on the mat, which had no grip, into the bath. The inquest heard mum Nicole Carr had bathed her daughter earlier that evening and put her to bed believing she was asleep.

After putting Summer to bed at around 7.30pm on the evening of December 6, 2014, Miss Carr had topped the bath up for herself and gone downstairs to make a couple of phone calls.

When she returned upstairs before 8pm to the bathroom at the home on Chaucer Road, Mexborough, she noticed something was wrong.

Miss Carr, 24, said in a statement read to the court: “I went back upstairs to have a bath and saw Summer’s toy dog on the floor that she had to ward off bad dreams.

“The bath mat had moved and it was on a slant. I noticed that there had been no bubbles in the bath before but now it was full of bubbles. I looked into the centre of the bathtub and saw Summer’s pink pyjamas’”

The inquest heard Miss Carr pulled her daughter from the bath and called 999.

Summer’s princess bubble bath was found nearly empty at the side of the bath.

Despite attempts by Miss Carr and medics to resuscitate Summer for more than an hour and a half she was unresponsive and pronounced dead at Rotherham General Hospital at 9.27pm.

Summer’s dad Carl Shaw, a call centre worker, said in a statement: “Summer liked to play with her purple ducks in the bath and pretend to be a mermaid having watched films like The Little Mermaid she did this by lying in the bath and kicking her legs.”

Det Chf Insp Margaret Hawksworth said an investigation concluded there was no third party involvement and the death had been a tragic accident.

She added: “It is most likely that Summer got up and went into the bathroom, put the bubbles in the bath and was playing with the ducks or reaching across for the ducks when she slipped and fell into the bath.”

Pathologist Dr Charles Wilson said a bruise found on Summer’s head indicated the youngster may have hit her head as she fell into the bath and became submerged in the water that was around 15 inches deep.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Nicola Mundy said: “Clearly this was the most tragic of accidents.”

Her mother believed she was safely tucked up in bed and she was an innocent girl simply wishing to play with her ducks and bubbles in the bath.

“From the evidence I have heard, no one is to blame for this she was just a young girl not realising the dangers.”