Mother to stand trial over infant daughter's death

A BENDIGO woman will stand trial for the manslaughter of her baby daughter, who died after being left in the backseat of her car.

Jayde Poole, 28, was committed to stand trial after Magistrate Bruce Cottrill ruled there was enough evidence for a jury to possibly find her guilty of manslaughter.

The charge of reckless conduct endangering life was dropped.

Ms Poole wiped tears from her eyes and stood up at the end of the committal hearing on Tuesday to declare she was pleading not guilty.

Magistrate Cottrill said based on the evidence put to the court he believed the case should go to trial.

"I am satisfied that there is a case to answer," he said.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Michele Williams, S.C, argued Ms Poole had breached a duty of care by leaving her five-month-old daughter Bella in the car for two hours on a hot evening on December 11, 2012.

Ms Williams said the fact Ms Poole forgot her baby did not discount an element of criminal negligence .

She said the act of strapping her in the capsule of the car and leaving her was a breach of her duty of care because it directly resulted in her death.

"The law should not make excuses for someone who creates that situation and then says 'sorry I forgot'," she said.

Defence counsel Shane Gardner said the evidence "pointed to a clear lapse in memory".

He argued the charge of manslaughter could not be proven because his client did not act in a deliberate, conscious or voluntary way in causing the death of her youngest daughter.

"The evidence is united that this was a case where Ms Poole forgot the whereabouts of Bella," he said.

The court heard Ms Poole had taken Bella and her six-year-old son to Hungry Jacks for dinner. She returned home about 4.45pm and entered the house with her son, believing that she had left Bella in her cot.

Bella was retrieved from the car at 7.20pm, and was declared dead a short time later.

Ms Poole has had her bail extended and will face a directions hearing in the Melbourne Supreme Court on January 22.

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