R v Reeves (Danielle Catherine) – Case Summary

R v Reeves (Danielle Catherine)

Court of Appeal

Citations: [2012] EWCA Crim 2613; [2013] 2 Cr App R (S) 21.


The defendant left her baby unattended in a bath, secured in a safety seat, for 45 minutes while she spoke with her neighbours. She ignored the screams of her other child, who was also in the bath, for help. The baby died. The defendant was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter and sentenced to three years and nine months in prison. She appealed her sentence as excessive.

  1. Was the sentence imposed excessive?

The Court of Appeal thought the sentence was ‘firm’ but not manifestly excessive. This was because this was a case of great harm and high culpability, even though the defendant was previously of good character and did not otherwise mistreat her children.