Bristol pond boy death: Family members admit neglect

Daniel Marshall Rees-Smith
Image caption Daniel drowned in the pond in his grandmother's garden in Hanham

A mother, father and grandmother have pleaded guilty to neglect after a toddler drowned in a garden pond.

Daniel Marshall Rees-Smith was found dead at his grandmother's home in Hanham, near Bristol, in June 2010.

Grandmother Hilary Rees, 44, and mother Charlotte Rees-Smith, 19, pleaded guilty to child cruelty and neglect from April 2009 until June 2010.

Father Andrew Marshall, 21, pleaded guilty to neglect relating to the death.

'Unnecessary suffering'

Mr Justice Maddison said the family's actions had "considerable shortcomings" and added Daniel's death was "tragic".

"I am not giving you any indication of the final outcome. You are to be sentenced on very serious charges."

Rupert Lowe, prosecuting, said: "The pleas offered represent responsibility taken by all three defendants who the Crown says bear responsibility for what happened to Daniel Rees-Smith."

Image caption Charlotte Rees-Smith, Hilary Rees and Andrew Marshall pleaded guilty to neglect

Mr Lowe said the pleas were accepted after discussions with the Crown Prosecution Service and the police.

The prosecution dropped manslaughter charges against all three family members.

Ms Rees, of Mount Hill Road, Hanham; Ms Rees-Smith of Hicks Court, St George, Bristol, and Mr Marshall from Wrington, Somerset, spoke only to enter their pleas and confirm they understood proceedings.

The charge alleged the three "neglected, abandoned, or exposed Daniel Rees-Smith in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health".

Daniel was taken to Bristol Children's Hospital after emergency services were called to the house on Mount Hill Road at 2245 BST on 4 June 2010.

Doctors were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead.

The three members of the family will be sentenced on 21 July and the case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.

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