An Australian man's cigarette break cost the life of his nine-month-old daughter in April last year. The baby was left alone in the bathtub for seven minutes in at least 10-12 centimetres of water.

Daniel James Gallagher, 27, left his daughter Leah Jayde unsupervised in the bathtub at their house in Queensland to smoke and scroll through Facebook.

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard that he had initially left the bathroom to check an electrical issue before he went to smoke outside the house and used his phone to browse Facebook.

When he finally came back to the bathroom, the baby was "floating face-down" in the overflowing tub. He tried to give CPR to her and called the emergency services, but to no avail. The baby was pronounced dead after being taken to Hervey Bay Hospital.

The court heard that a similar incident had taken place days before the baby's death. Gallagher had then left the child alone in 10-12 centimetres of water.

But her mother, Shaylan Gallagher, arrived at the house just in time on that occasion and saved the baby from a mishap. She later found her ex smoking outside with the baby alone in the bath.

Crown prosecutor Chris Cook told the court that Gallagher was remorseful, but his daughter's death was "not an accident."

"It was beyond reckless. This was more than inattention; his actions caused an entirely avoidable death. The victim impact here is, of course, extreme," said Cook.

Defence lawyer Andrew Hoare said that he had been distracted by "extraneous, irrelevant matters," and failed to identify the risk of drowning. "This does remain, however, an offence of omission rather than direct or deliberate harm," he said.

The man has been handed a five-year sentence to be suspended after 15 months after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, according to a report in The Mirror.

Shaylan Gallagher, who is mourning her little daughter, has urged parents to be more careful and cherish every moment they have with their kids.

"Cherish every moment with your kids — even in the hard times when you know they're having a moment and they just need a cuddle to calm, or when they're coming to you in times of distress or in times of happiness," she said, per ABC News.

Crime Scene
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