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Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

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Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  margaret on Wed 4 Aug - 13:53

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Sonny-Gibson-Tumble-Dryer-Death-Mother-Arrested-On-Suspicion-Of-Child-Neglect/Article/201008115676855?lpos=UK_News_Carousel_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15676855_Sonny_Gibson_Tumble_Dryer_Death%3A_Mother_Arrested_On_Suspicion_Of_Child_Neglect


Mother Held Over Boy's Tumble Dryer Death


A 41-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect following the death of Sonny Gibson, the four-year-old boy who was found dead in a tumble dryer.

Sonny's body was found by his "distraught" mother, Anne Gibson, and a police officer at her home in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, on July 26.

It is thought he climbed into the machine during a game of hide-and-seek.

A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said a woman had since been arrested in connection with the care of Sonny, but not in connection with his death.

He said: "We have arrested a 41-year-old woman on suspicion of child neglect following investigations into the incident."

Sonny was playing in his family's garden shortly before he went missing.

When his mother couldn't find him, she called police and a large-scale search was launched using the force's helicopter.

But about 50 minutes later, Sonny was found dead in the tumble dryer at home.

Detectives have not said whether the dryer was switched on when the boy was found.

Ms Gibson was arrested on Friday and was bailed.

====

How sad RIP little Sonny, another unhelpful statistic.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  LJC on Wed 4 Aug - 16:09

Oh dear, the Police must have good reasons for believing the mother neglected to supervise the little boy.

I know Ashbourne, its near the Peak District and attracts lots of tourists and walkers and is what you would call a nice area.

Mother's have to be so careful when caring for their children, she may have been gardening or enjoying the nice weather with her son, because it says the little boy was last seen playing in the family's garden before he disappeared. However, how long do you take your eyes off them for, for it to constitute neglect?

I know we have discussed this many times before, but there are times when you have to move away from them, but common sense must prevail and there must be time limits as to how long you are actually away

I know even just going to make a bed upstairs whilst a child is downstairs can lead to the child exploring a tumble dryer, but how long would it take to die inside a tumble dryer? Not long I bet.

If you can say you had only momentarily moved away from your child, neglect charges would not be brought.

However, if there are witnesses who say you left the child for a lengthy period, neglect charges should be brought IMO.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  chrissie on Wed 4 Aug - 16:19

He was being looked after by his older siblings while the mother went shopping:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/07/27/boy-aged-four-found-dead-in-tumble-dryer-115875-22442521/


Boy aged four, found dead in tumble dryer

*
*

By Rod Chaytor 27/07/2010

A boy of four died yesterday when he became trapped in a tumble dryer during a game of hide and seek.

Little Sonny Gibson was locked inside the machine for up to an hour while his frantic family searched nearby fields for him.

His mum Anne Shepherd was too distraught to speak last night.

But a neighbour said the boy was being looked after by older siblings as Anne had gone shopping. She returned to find him missing.

The neighbour added: “I’ve been told he was playing hide and seek while they were in the front room. He climbed into the dryer and shut the door. God knows what it must have been like for the poor mite.”

Police spotted Sonny’s lifeless body in the dryer at his home
in Ashbourne, Derbys. Emergency crews fought desperately to save him but Sonny was
pronounced dead at the scene.

It was not known last night whether the tumble dryer had been going through a cycle with the youngster inside or he suffocated. The result of a postmortem are expected today.

Anne, who is in her 40s, was said to be under medical supervision last night, being comforted by specially trained police and family as she tries to
come to terms with her terrible loss.

Friends paid tribute to the little lad who loved hide and seek and was “always trying to give his older brothers and sister a surprise”.

The neighbour said: “It’s a terrible way for anyone to go. But he was so young and such a real lovely lad that it seems to make it even more awful.

“He must have been in the dryer for at least an hour so God only knows what it must have been like.”

Another added: “He was a sweet little lad. He had just finished at nursery. This is the first day of the summer holidays. What a terrible way to start.”

Advertisement - article continues below »

It is believed Anne, who had recently split from Sonny’s father, had gone shopping in the town centre, just a mile from her home. She left the boy with his half-brothers and half-sisters – Sarah 20, Nathan, 19, Martin, 17, and 15-year-old Luke – at the house.

The youngsters, children from a previous relationship, were said to be inconsolable, blaming themselves for the tragedy.

A woman neighbour added: “Anne has lived here a few years and recently had a long-term relationship with Sonny’s dad, but he moved out a few months ago. I believe he has been living in Burton-on-Trent.

“This is going to hit them both hard and you wonder what effect it will have on the other kids.”

Police were called as soon as the panic-stricken mum realised her son had vanished from the house in the small Peak District market town at 10.30am.

Officers and the family searched the immediate area around the home with the help of a helicopter.

The air crew made loudhailer appeals to shoppers and residents on the ground to help them look for the missing youngster as fears for his safety grew.

Detectives were last night still at the scene carrying out forensic tests inside the house. Half of the quiet cul-de-sac remained cordoned off while officers
continued their inquiries into the boy’s death.

A source said: “We are at the very early stages of this investigation but it seems to be a bizarre and tragic accident.

“This little boy has somehow managed to climb inside a tumble dryer and, in circumstances that are not yet clear, while inside, he has died.”

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire Police added: “It’s too early to say how this tragedy happened so we are carrying out further investigations.

“We are awaiting results of a postmortem before we determine what we do next.”

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/07/27/boy-aged-four-found-dead-in-tumble-dryer-115875-22442521/#ixzz0vePnvAzL
Order your copy of the Daily Mirror for £3.15 and get the new Prince album 20TEN for Free. Order yours here

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  margaret on Wed 4 Aug - 16:30

Thanks for that Chrissie so it's not as clear cut as l imagined, there were 4 other children looking after him between the ages of 15 and 20. That's tragic and l'm not sure could be classed as outright neglect, unless there have been issues with the family or mum before?

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Sandi on Wed 4 Aug - 16:36

This is the law gone mad, the mother left him with 3 adults and a child at 15 who should have been responsible. The mother thought she had left her child in reasonable care which in my humble opinion she did.

I suspect when they could not find him, they checked everywhere, phoned the police and called the neighbours, but seriously who would think to look for a child in a tumble dryer. Sorry this is just a tragedy and the mother has lost a son to tragic circumstances and the older children must be riddled with guilt. This is clearly not neglect, neglect would have been if she left him in bed alone whilst she went shopping.


Last edited by Sandi on Wed 4 Aug - 16:37; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  chrissie on Wed 4 Aug - 16:37

margaret wrote:Thanks for that Chrissie so it's not as clear cut as l imagined, there were 4 other children looking after him between the ages of 15 and 20. That's tragic and l'm not sure could be classed as outright neglect, unless there have been issues with the family or mum before?

Hi Margaret

A tragic case indeed and I am puzzled about the outright neglect too. However, it would seem that the siblings were watching TV in another room and not minding him as such. There well may be something more in the background as you say.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  chrissie on Wed 4 Aug - 16:39

Sandi wrote:This is the law gone mad, the mother left him with 3 adults and a child at 15 who should have been responsible. The mother thought she had left her child in reasonable care which in my humble opinion she did.

I suspect when they could not find him, they checked everywhere, phoned the police and called the neighbours, but seriously who would think to look for a child in a tumble dryer. Sorry this is just a tragedy and the mother has lost a son to tragic circumstances and the older children must be riddled with guilt. This is clearly not neglect, neglect would have been if she left him in bed whilst she went shopping.

I agree that I would think she had left him with reasonable care. Sometime however, some young adults can be less responsible/mature than others. But like I say, I just don't know.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  margaret on Wed 4 Aug - 16:43

Sandi wrote:Sorry this is just a tragedy and the mother has lost a son to tragic circumstances and the older children must be riddled with guilt.

You're right, unless there's something else we haven't been told, the guilt could ruin those poor kids's lives.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Sandi on Wed 4 Aug - 17:04

Of course, especially if they saw the tumble dryer door open and closed it without looking inside, (like I do at times) because I have just looked at my tumble dryer and it does seem rather hard to close the door from the inside. This is just a tragic accident IMHO and if the child was playing hide and seek then the game is that they have to remain as silent as possible.

A young child of four would not realise once the door was shut they could not get out and I suppose not in a million years would you think of checking inside the washing machine or tumble dryer.

As you said margaret unless there is something we have not been told, I think this was just a tragic accident.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Panda on Wed 4 Aug - 17:21

I just posted and forgot to press send GRRRR.

Anyway, thinking aloud, when closing the door of a Washing Machine we all know you have to apply a bit of pressure and opening the door is not easy for a 4 yr old. Once inside what is there for anyone to hold to release the catch get out? If they really were playing hide and seek, the younger ones , supposing one of the older lads as a joke put the boy in the Machine on his way out but the prank obviously went horribly wrong.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Eve on Wed 4 Aug - 17:55


Another tragic ,case what a awful thing to have happen to the little boy shocking, what he must have gone through god bless him

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Wallflower on Wed 4 Aug - 19:41

How very very sad.

But how can it be neglect by the mother if she left the 4yo with others much older including a 20yo?

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  fred on Wed 4 Aug - 19:47

We are all going into ovedrive whose to blame here. There is most likely an simple explanation of it was a tragic accident. it's very, very sad, but why the need to blame anyone? Poor little mite.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  AspieDistra on Wed 4 Aug - 21:45

fred wrote:We are all going into ovedrive whose to blame here. There is most likely an simple explanation of it was a tragic accident. it's very, very sad, but why the need to blame anyone? Poor little mite.

Tumble dryers should be safer than that.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Panda on Wed 4 Aug - 21:50

AspieDistra wrote:
fred wrote:We are all going into ovedrive whose to blame here. There is most likely an simple explanation of it was a tragic accident. it's very, very sad, but why the need to blame anyone? Poor little mite.

Tumble dryers should be safer than that.

I agree and as I mentioned earlier, even if the door had been ajar when the boy climbed inside, how could he have closed it from the inside? It"s very tragic and I suppose anylists will work out how long he had been in there.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Dimsie on Wed 4 Aug - 22:12

Sandi wrote:This is the law gone mad, the mother left him with 3 adults and a child at 15 who should have been responsible. The mother thought she had left her child in reasonable care which in my humble opinion she did.

I suspect when they could not find him, they checked everywhere, phoned the police and called the neighbours, but seriously who would think to look for a child in a tumble dryer. Sorry this is just a tragedy and the mother has lost a son to tragic circumstances and the older children must be riddled with guilt. This is clearly not neglect, neglect would have been if she left him in bed alone whilst she went shopping.
Or if she'd left him alone while she went off to wine and dine with friends in a bar - that would certainly have been neglect IMO. But she didn't do anything as stupid and reckless as that.


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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  LJC on Wed 4 Aug - 22:24

Dimsie wrote:
Sandi wrote:This is the law gone mad, the mother left him with 3 adults and a child at 15 who should have been responsible. The mother thought she had left her child in reasonable care which in my humble opinion she did.

I suspect when they could not find him, they checked everywhere, phoned the police and called the neighbours, but seriously who would think to look for a child in a tumble dryer. Sorry this is just a tragedy and the mother has lost a son to tragic circumstances and the older children must be riddled with guilt. This is clearly not neglect, neglect would have been if she left him in bed alone whilst she went shopping.
Or if she'd left him alone while she went off to wine and dine with friends in a bar - that would certainly have been neglect IMO. But she didn't do anything as stupid and reckless as that.


Lets keep an open mind shall we. The Police are folowing procedures for some reason that we do not know about. The older siblings she left him with may have been drug users for example. We do not know what sort of family this was.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  margaret on Thu 5 Aug - 9:37

fred wrote:We are all going into ovedrive whose to blame here. There is most likely an simple explanation of it was a tragic accident. it's very, very sad, but why the need to blame anyone? Poor little mite.

We're not blaming anyone, if you read the posts we're saying it was a tragic accident and couldn't be classed as neglect.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  LJC on Thu 5 Aug - 10:54

margaret wrote:
fred wrote:We are all going into ovedrive whose to blame here. There is most likely an simple explanation of it was a tragic accident. it's very, very sad, but why the need to blame anyone? Poor little mite.

We're not blaming anyone, if you read the posts we're saying it was a tragic accident and couldn't be classed as neglect.

I'm saying keep an open mind until we know more about the family. The older family members were all at home, but I am wondering what day of the week it was? If it was a weekday surely some of them would have been at work/college? If not, why not. Were they a dysfunction family for instance, with alcohol or drug problems. Lets wait and see. If they are a respectable lot it still does not mean the older siblings were not up to something they should not have been.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  duncanmac on Thu 5 Aug - 15:05

This is a complete joke.
Even if the police have done some research into the family, it didnt take them long to do that did it, amazing how the Midlands Police force could not find any of the information Amaral requested.
The report describes the mother as being " Distraught" and "Under medical supervison"

It looks likes she failed to read the script. Perhaps if she had sat at home until 03.00am phoning relatives, went out jogging, had her highlights done like "hot lips" then she would not have been facing neglect charges.
At least she went out looking

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  sunflower on Thu 5 Aug - 15:18

Sandi wrote:This is the law gone mad, the mother left him with 3 adults and a child at 15 who should have been responsible. The mother thought she had left her child in reasonable care which in my humble opinion she did.

I suspect when they could not find him, they checked everywhere, phoned the police and called the neighbours, but seriously who would think to look for a child in a tumble dryer. Sorry this is just a tragedy and the mother has lost a son to tragic circumstances and the older children must be riddled with guilt. This is clearly not neglect, neglect would have been if she left him in bed alone whilst she went shopping.

Totally agree with you Sandi.
Awful situation only made worse by the neglect charges. Obviously there may be more to come, but it certainly seems from the information available at the moment that it is just a tragic accident.
Very, very sad.

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Sandi on Thu 5 Aug - 16:26

Mind you this does not surprise me, a mother had a 16mth old in the bath and a 4 yr old running around and left the child unattended in the bath for a few moments and the child drowned.

They all agreed it was a tragic accident but 3 months later the Police decided to charge her with neglect.

http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspublications.nsf/591f7dda55aad72a80256c670041a50d/c2b2132e88f10b9c8025737d00379c12/$FILE/SSCB%20Serious%20Case%20Review%20Child%20N.pdf

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Panda on Thu 5 Aug - 17:21



I was using my Tumble Dryer a couple of hours ago and reiterate my previous thought. There is nothing to grip
onto inside the door to close it, so how could a 4 yr old child manage to lock himself in? If he had opened the door and got inside the door would have stayed open, so I can only assume that somebody else closed the door but failed to notice a 4yr old boy inside?

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  margaret on Thu 5 Aug - 18:11

LJC wrote:
I'm saying keep an open mind until we know more about the family. The older family members were all at home, but I am wondering what day of the week it was? If it was a weekday surely some of them would have been at work/college? If not, why not. Were they a dysfunction family for instance, with alcohol or drug problems. Lets wait and see. If they are a respectable lot it still does not mean the older siblings were not up to something they should not have been.

Speculating! Let's wait and see...

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Re: Mother held over neglect: boys tumble dryer death

Post  Dimsie on Fri 6 Aug - 12:49

Panda wrote:

I was using my Tumble Dryer a couple of hours ago and reiterate my previous thought. There is nothing to grip
onto inside the door to close it, so how could a 4 yr old child manage to lock himself in? If he had opened the door and got inside the door would have stayed open, so I can only assume that somebody else closed the door but failed to notice a 4yr old boy inside?
Maybe someone passing the dryer noticed the door was open and slammed it shut without looking inside? My tumble dryer door isn't easy to see through, it's made from an almost opaque type of material. Because we have cats I always check both the washing machine and tumble dryer carefully before closing them, as it's not unknown for cats to climb inside them. But who would expect a child to be inside, and if the little boy thought it was a game of hide-and-seek he'd probably keep very quiet and still, not realising the danger of being trapped inside.

I agree we're simply speculating and no doubt we'll hear more at some stage, but at least this child wasn't left alone while his mum headed off to the pub for hours, there were other older people there who could have dealt with most (though obviously not all) occurrences.

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