Claire Barnett, a 31-year-old mom from East Yorkshire, England, was sent to jail this weekend 14 months after her 2-year-old son Joshua drowned in a pond. According to the BBC, the court reported Barnett was on Facebook and talking to her boyfriend while Joshua was drowning.
Barnett pleaded guilty to four charges of child neglect and will be in jail for the next five years. Police originally heard different stories from Barnett about what she’d been doing while Joshua was in the pond, but investigators confirmed from the time stamps on her phone she’d uploaded two photos to Facebook and taken a call from her boyfriend when Joshua was drowning.
The Yorkshire Post reports Barnett’s family allegedly warned her about the dangers of having an uncovered pond in her yard with such a young child, but Barnett never covered it.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children contacted Barnett in 2013 when neighbors saw Joshua almost get hit by a car because Barnett let him play in the streets. The Yorkshire Post also reports Judge Jeremy Richardson called Barnett an “awful parent” in court and said she posed “very serious risks to any child to whom [she] might have responsibility.”
According to The Guardian, Barnett dragged Joshua out of the water when she noticed him drowning, attempted to resuscitate him, and called the police for help, but Joshua died in the hospital later that day. He was days away from his third birthday.