Baby Drowned In Bath After His Parents Left Him Alone Twice

A five-month-old baby was left to drown in a bath because his drug addict parents were 'distracted,' according to a new report into his neglect.

Baby Aaron Egan slipped under the water when his parents left him alone in a portable bath.

When the boy's father, Thomas Egan, found Aaron lying under the water, he simply propped Aaron up and left the room again.

The boy's mother Chrystine Templeton, was in another room running a bath for Mr Egan, so neither of Aaron's parents were with him when he slipped below the water line again.

Hours later, Aaron was taken to hospital from his home in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, where he was later pronounced dead.

The incident on July 17, 2010, is the subject of a report released yesterday (Thursday, May 29) by former Central Scotland Police chief constable Andrew Cameron.

In the significant case review, which was commissioned by East Ayrshire's child protection committee, Mr Cameron writes:

"The parents had admitted that they were in the habit of using the baby seat found in the baby bath to prop the baby up so that he could see the television in the living room, which also apparently prevented the baby from crying.

"The stark reality is, however, that the parents did not care for the baby the way they should have that evening. They should not have left the baby alone in the bath."

The report added that a senior investigating police officer stated it was 'clear to him that both parents were distracted'.

According to the report, Aaron's death could not have been anticipated.

However, the review chronicles a series of failures by social workers and other agencies, including the decision not to place Aaron in care and the removal of his name from the child protection register.

Cameron writes that chances to save the baby were missed and he criticises social workers, the police and the NHS, for failing to adequately report concerns about the baby's care.

The Daily Mail reports that Mr Egan's first child had also died in a bath accident in 1985 and prior to Aaron's birth a 'high risk pregnancy referral' had been made to social workers by the midwifey service.

When Aaron was born in February 2009, he was transferred to special care and discharged home around six weeks later.

In his report, Cameron said there were 'huge question marks hanging over the decision that was taken to discharge the baby into the care of the parents.'

He added that a decision to remove Aaron's name from the child protection register on April 26, 2009, was taken 'without the full facts.'

Cameron went on to say that in the lead up to Aaron's death, concerns were raised about his parent's relationship and recommendations were made for more resources on the case - but this didn't happen.

The report concludes: "The stark reality is that the death of Baby E [Aaron] could have been prevented if the parents had fulfilled their parental responsibility that night and had not left the baby on his own.

"The independent review officer recognised the complex family history and... concluded that the death of Baby E could have been prevented if he had been accommodated at birth.

"The review findings also noted that such a decision in the case of Baby E was extremely difficult given the range of factors which services had to take into account."

Egan and Templeton were charged with culpable homicide but the Crown Office later dropped the charges due to insufficient evidence, the Daily Record reports.

In response East Ayrshire child protection committee chair Susan Taylor said: "'The independent review officer recognised that the child protection team tried their level best to support the family, and noted that staff could not have anticipated that this event would happen.

"This significant case review has been carefully considered by the agencies involved and there has been a determined effort to understand and learn important lessons from this incident.

"We are committed to working together to keep children safe from harm through continuous improvements and developments in practice."