Toronto Sun

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

'DEVASTATED'

'Grieving' family in court as drowned tot's mom freed on $75Gs bail

By JASON BOTCHFORD AND JONATHAN KINGSTONE, TORONTO SUN

A nurse charged in the drowning death of her seven-month-old baby boy mouthed "sorry" to family as she was led away from court in handcuffs yesterday.

The 27-year-old mom was released on $75,000 bail a day after she was charged with criminal negligence causing death after her infant drowned in a bathtub.

Lesia Brown was taken into custody after police found seven-month-old Nathaniel Brown dead in an apartment near Goreway and Morningstar Drs. Monday morning.

Police allege Brown left Nathaniel unattended in a bathtub filled with water for 15 minutes so she could finish some homework.

Police allege Nathaniel had been placed in an infant tub that fits into a larger bathtub.

The baby tubs are fitted with a bar to prevent tots from sliding down but the bar is not a strap and it didn't keep Nathaniel upright, police said.

FURTHERING EDUCATION

Lesia Brown is a registered practical nurse who studied at Humber College and was working part-time at a hospital while she furthered her nursing education.

In court yesterday, she looked distraught and emotionally shaken as she shuddered with her head bowed as a Crown attorney detailed the charge.

When Brown was granted bail, she briefly looked up as she was being taken away and mouthed "sorry" to one of the family members who packed the court house.

"She's quite devastated, I think as any parent would be," defence lawyer Boris Bytensky said. "(The family) appears to be a close-knit unit. There appears to be a lot of grieving going on right now ... they're all standing behind her.

"(Brown) seems by all accounts to be a very loving parent."

At least a dozen of Brown's family and friends were in court to support her, including her husband of three years, Donovan. Brown lives with Donovan, a six-year-old son and a 16-year-old step-daughter.

FAMILY IGNORES MEDIA

"When (Brown) gets by the tragedy that's happened she'll begin to pick up the pieces," Bytensky said. "Hopefully, one day, she'll get back to whatever we call normal."

Family members refused to speak with media at court yesterday and Brown left the courthouse through an emergency exit.

She is scheduled to appear in Brampton court next on June 17.

Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.