Woman who turned to drugs after her two young daughters drowned in the bath when she slipped and knocked herself out is jailed for dealing heroin

  • Lyn Brownsea, 37, knocked herself out while looking after daughters Natasha and Abigail in 1999
  • She then spiralled into heroin abuse and helped dealers supply drugs
  • Grieving mother jailed for six months after she broke suspended sentence 

A mother who became addicted to drugs after her two young daughters drowned in the bath while she was caring for them has been jailed for dealing in heroin.

Lyn Brownsea was looking after her children Natasha, three, and 18-month-old Abigail in June 1999 when she accidentally slipped and knocked herself out.

By the time she came to, both girls had drowned - sending their mother into a downward spiral in which she took refuge in hard drugs.

Brownsea, now 37, became a heroin addict and joined a drugs supply ring, storing narcotics at her home in Popley, Hampshire on behalf of London-based dealers.

Jailed: Lyn Brownsea, pictured left in 1999 and right at a recent court appearance, turned to heroin after the death of her two young daughters

Winchester Crown Court heard that Brownsea was paid in heroin, allowing her to feed her habit for free.

Last July, she admitted supplying heroin and allowing her house to be used to deal drugs, and was given a 15-month suspended sentence.

At that hearing, Judge Jane Miller QC told her: 'I have read of the tragic events in your life and it was that which caused you to go into drug use.

'But you and your partner allowed your house to be used for drug supply. Of course it was the only way you could get the drugs but that's no excuse.'

Now she has been sentenced to six months in prison after she breached the terms of her suspended sentence by failing to attend rehabilitation appointments.

Brownsea was interviewed by police over her daughters' deaths, but was cleared of any wrongdoing.

An inquest into their death in September 1999 heard how the girls were last seen alive by Brownsea, then 21, blowing kisses to each other in the bubble bath they were sharing.

As they played, Brownsea fell over and struck her head on the side of the bath, and by the time she came round her babies' bodies were lifeless.

Brownsea then ran out from her flat in the market town of Alresford, near Winchester, and passers-by tried in vain to revive the girls.

Natasha and Abigail were rushed by ambulance to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester following the accident.

But 20 minutes after arriving Natasha was certified dead, and her sister died 24 hours later in an intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital, with her parents at her side.

Brownsea told the inquest through tears: 'I think I slipped on the floor and hit my head on the edge of the bath.

'Abigail might have slipped and Natasha tried to help her or she had tried to get out. I don't know.'

Recording accidental death verdicts, coroner Grahame Short said: 'I don't think you should blame yourself for what happened that day.'