National Post

May 29, 2002

Mother of drowned baby free on $75,000 bail

Dan Rowe
National Post

The mother of a seven-month-old infant who drowned in a bathtub Monday morning made her first court appearance yesterday in Brampton.

Lesia Brown, 27, of Mississauga, is charged with criminal negligence causing death.

According to neighbours, Ms. Brown's son was left unattended in a special baby tub, which comes with two built-in safety bars, that was in a regular bathtub filling with water. A Peel Regional Police officer said Ms. Brown was alone at home with the child when the tragedy occurred.

During her brief court appearance, Ms. Brown sat sombrely in the prisoners' box with her head bowed. She clenched her cuffed hands while rocking back and forth, appearing to fight back tears. Only briefly did she make eye contact with the numerous family members and friends who filled much of the small courtroom.

Ms. Brown was released on $75,000 bail. The conditions of her bail include an order to have her family doctor assess whether she should seek psychiatric treatment. She was also made to turn over her passport to police.

Ms. Brown is allowed to return to her job and continue studies whenever she wants. Her lawyer, Boris Boytenski, confirmed she had been working as a nurse.

Outside the courtroom, Mr. Boytenski said the family is going through a very difficult time. "They're a very close-knit family." He described Ms. Brown as "a devoted and caring mother."

Meanwhile, the police investigation into Nathaniel Brown's death continued at Ms. Brown's apartment on Morningstar Drive in Mississauga yesterday afternoon. Inspector Tom Slinger said police are only trying to gather more information.

Residents of Ms. Brown's building were shocked by the baby's death. Ms. Brown shared the apartment with her husband and her two other children.

Her next court appearance is on June 17.

drowe@nationalpost.com

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