Mother could have charge dropped over infant daughter's death

THE Office of Public Prosecutions is considering dropping a manslaughter charge against a Bendigo mother whose baby daughter died after being left in the backseat of her car.

Jayde Poole, 28, has been committed to stand trial after five-month-old Bella was left in the car for two hours on a hot evening on December 11, 2012.

A Supreme Court directions hearing was told this week that lawyers acting for Ms Poole have requested to have the charge dismissed.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Michele Williams, S.C said the notice of discontinuance was still under review.

"We will have a look at that and give that some consideration, careful consideration," she said.

The court heard last month that Ms Poole believed Bella had been kidnapped, before she discovered her lifeless in the back seat of her car.

Ms Poole has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge.

The Supreme Court heard this week that if the trial goes ahead it could be held in Melbourne instead of Bendigo due to a strain on local court facilities.

The court was told there could be a wait of more than a year in Bendigo due to a backlog, but that it could potentially be held in Melbourne in July.

Ms Williams argued "it is a Bendigo matter and it should be heard in Bendigo".

Ms Poole's defence lawyer Shane Gardiner said his preference would be to have the trial held in Bendigo but he said "if we're forced to wait until next year, we'd be more content with it coming to Melbourne, given the strain on the courts."

​Judge Terry Forrest said that if they were forced to wait until next year the trial would have to come to Melbourne. 

He noted during the hearing that "if it's of any assistance, it seemed to me that, at least on the face of it, this case is different to cases where people deliberately leave children in the car".

Ms Poole has had her bail extended and will face a further post committal directions hearing on February 12.

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