Toronto Sun

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Accused loving mom, aunt says

By JONATHAN KINGSTONE, TORONTO SUN

Seven-month-old Nathaniel Brown was a happy, healthy little boy and the woman accused in his bathtub drowning is a loving mom, a relative said yesterday.

"He was a jolly-go-lucky kid," Nathaniel's great aunt said from her Mississauga home, where the infant's mother is required to stay under conditions imposed by the court.

"He was a nice kid, healthy," said the woman, who didn't give her name.

She said her niece, 27-year-old Lesia Brown, is "very, very much" a good mother who loved her son.

However, the aunt was reluctant to comment on the criminal negligence charges Brown faces after Nathaniel drowned in the family's Morning Star Dr. apartment Monday.

LEFT UNATTENDED

Brown is accused of leaving the infant unattended in a bathtub filled with water for 15 minutes so she could finish her homework.

"I want to reserve judgment for now," the woman's aunt said. "I wasn't there so I didn't see what happened."

Peel Police said the baby tub Brown was using to bathe Nathaniel was fitted with a bar to prevent him from sliding down but it didn't work properly.

$75,000 BAIL

In a court appearance Tuesday, Brown -- a registered practical nurse who was working part-time in a hospital to further her training -- appeared distraught and fought back tears.

As she was led away in handcuffs, she mouthed "sorry" to family members who packed the courtroom.

She was released on $75,000 bail and is required to live with her aunt and seek psychological counselling if ordered by her doctor.

Brown is scheduled to return to court next month.

The family hopes to hold a funeral Saturday for Nathaniel but cannot make arrangements until his body is released by the coroner.

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