Tragedy Strikes as Toddler Drowns in Pond – Mother and Grandmother Sentenced for Neglect

Tragedy Strikes as Toddler Drowns in Pond – Mother and Grandmother Sentenced for Neglect

A heartbreaking incident unfolded at Crab Fold Farm in Atherton, Wigan, where two-year-old Masie Lomax-Newton tragically drowned in a pond while playing outside.

The shocking neglect of Masie by her mother and grandmother during the family’s horse-related activities led to their recent sentencing.

The Incident and CCTV Footage:

On the morning of November 8, 2021, CCTV footage captured Masie playing joyfully in puddles and running around the farm.

The toddler, left unsupervised, eventually made her way to the pond, where she spent 19 minutes before being discovered.

Despite being rushed to Royal Oldham Hospital, Masie succumbed to a global hypoxic brain injury on December 1.

Legal Consequences:

Masie’s mother, Emma Lomax-Newton (30), and grandmother, Cindy Molyneux (52), pleaded guilty to child neglect.

Despite the gravity of the negligence, they were both sentenced to a 12-month community order and 15 days of rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR).

The judge indicated that imprisonment was not deemed appropriate in this case.

Sequence of Events and Negligence:

During the family’s visit to Crab Fold Farm, where they cared for horses, Masie and her one-year-old brother were taken along.

The neglect became evident as Masie was frequently out of sight of her mother and grandmother.

The CCTV footage revealed instances of Masie being near the pond alone, with the plastic fencing appearing compromised in one area.

Discovery and Medical Treatment:

Masie’s fall into the pond went unnoticed until 1.18 pm when Lomax-Newton and Molyneux found her.

Despite immediate medical attention, Masie’s condition deteriorated, resulting in her tragic passing.

The cause of death was documented as a bronchopneumonic brain injury due to drowning.

Court Proceedings and Sentencing:

During police interviews, Molyneux admitted responsibility for looking after the children but claimed she did not see Masie at the pond.

Lomax-Newton asserted that her mother was responsible for childcare on the farm.

Both women, without prior convictions, were handed a community order, emphasizing the impact on the wider family and the defendants themselves.

Judicial Perspective and Mitigation:

The judge acknowledged the human frailty involved, stating that the incident could have happened to any caring individual.

Despite the element of neglect, the judge emphasized that the punishment lies in the consequence of that neglect.

The court recognized the permanent and palpable harm caused but noted the absence of malevolence in the case.

Family and Social Services Involvement:

In the aftermath of Masie’s death, social services found Molyneux to be a loving and dedicated grandmother, with the entire family providing support.

Masie, described as a bright, loving, and bubbly child, was dearly wanted and loved by her family.


This tragic incident serves as a poignant reminder of the consequences of neglect, highlighting the fragility of child safety.

The sentencing reflects the balance between accountability and recognizing the inherent human vulnerabilities that can lead to devastating outcomes.