An inquest into the death of two toddler boys in Australia has heard that their 'exhausted' mum left them in the shower and fell asleep for 10 hours.
The coroner's court in Western Australia heard that Miranda Hebble put Lochlan James Stevens, two, and Malachi Isaac Stevens, 10 months, in the shower after the older boy smeared poo from his nappy over walls and the younger child's cot.
She left them alone in the bathroom while she went to fetch something, and claims she then 'passed out'.
When she woke 10 hours later, she found water overflowing in the bathroom and the boys dead.
Malachi was floating in the shower on his side with bruises on his cheek and Lochlan was on the bathroom floor with blood coming from his mouth, a scratch on his forehead and a mark on his stomach.
Miss Hebble phoned the emergency services, telling them: "I passed out and the plug in the shower got plugged up ... and the shower filled up ... and they're not breathing. They're dead."
The court was told that Miss Hebble, who was 22 at the time of the boys' deaths in November, 2008, had no history of mental illness or drug or alcohol abuse.
The young mum had been alone in her Perth home with her two children while their father, Christopher Stevens, was away working.
Miss Hebble was described as a 'quiet person' who had been struggling with sleep because of her younger son's restlessness.
She was comforted by her family as she listened to the court's opening speeches.
The Mirror reports that the hearing was told of an incident where Malachi was left in a car, while his mother returned a DVD to a shop. He was removed from the vehicle by the police, allegedly 'hot, crying, sweaty and red in the face'.
Miss Hebble said at the time she had left him in the car because she was so tired she thought she might drop him if she tried to carry him.
A postmortem examination could not reach a definitive conclusion over Lochlan and Malachi's deaths, but Dr Jodi White told the court that drowning may have caused Malachi's, while Lochlan may have suffered exhaustion, hunger and possibly hypothermia with exposure, which then lead to his death by drowning.
The inquest continues.
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