A baby girl drowned in the bath after her dad left her for seven minutes to smoke and browse Facebook, it is reported.
Leah Jayde died on April 2 last year after her dad Daniel James Gallagher left her alone in the water with the taps still running.
Gallagher, 26, has been handed a five-year sentence, which will be suspended after 15 months, after pleading guilty to Leah’s manslaughter.
Leah’s death came just days after a close call when Gallagher had left her alone in 10-12 centimetres of water at their home in Queensland
Gallagher initially left Leah in order to deal with an electrical issue at the property, the Brisbane Supreme Court heard.
However, having headed outside he then smoked a cigarette while he scrolled through Facebook for several minutes.
Upon returning to the bathroom, he found Leah unconscious and “floating face down” in an overflowing tub.
Gallagher called emergency services and attempted to perform CPR while he waited for paramedics to arrive, while Leah’s mother, Shaylan Gallagher, also made a desperate attempt to save the little girl.
The tot was pronounced dead after being taken to Hervey Bay Hospital.
Crown prosecutor Chris Cook estimated Gallagher had left Leah alone for around seven minutes and, while acknowledging the dad’s remorse, said the infant’s death was “not an accident”, in quotes reported by The Sun.
Mr Cook added in court: “It was beyond reckless. This was more than inattention, his actions caused an entirely avoidable death.
“The victim impact here is of course extreme.”
Gallagher and Shaylan had split in 2020 and the court heard how a similar incident days earlier had ended in a narrow escape while Leah was in her dad’s care.
On that occasion Shaylan had arrived at the home, where she reportedly found Leah in the bath alone while Gallagher was smoking.
His defence barrister Andrew Hoare said his client has been “distracted by extraneous, irrelevant matters” and failed to realise the risk of drowning.
He added: “My client will always have the guilt of his conduct.
“My client has appreciated that his conduct won’t just have an effect to him, but to everyone who loved his daughter.”
Shaylan told ABC how she began “screaming and bawling her eyes out” after being told over the phone that Leah was unconscious.