Tasmania Police confirm no charges over death of baby under child safety assessment

Ariah Louise McGillvery-Bourke.
Ariah Louise McGillvery-Bourke.

Tasmania Police will not lay charges over the suspected drowning death of a baby girl who was under the assessment of Child Safety Services.

Seven-month-old Ariah Louise McGillvery-Bourke died in September, following two child safety notifications earlier that month.

It is understood she was being bathed in her Launceston home at the time of the tragedy.

On Monday, police confirmed its decision not to lay charges following advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“Our thoughts remain with all those affected by this tragic incident,” a police statement read.


The news of Ariah’s death was debated by political parties in September, with Greens leader Cassy O’Connor arguing there was “still far too little funding going into child safety”.

But Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma said “some people will seek to make political mileage out of this terrible tragedy”.

Following the statement from police on Monday, Ms Petrusma said “as I said at the time, it’s important not to jump to conclusions and to allow the police and the Coroner to do their respective jobs”.

In an Examiner tribute notice, Ariah was described as the “dearly loved daughter of Makayla and Daniel”.

“Loved granddaughter of Melissa, Poppy-Leigh and Damond, Darcy and Vicki (dec). Loved great-granddaughter of Deb and Rod, and Carol and Rodney. Loved niece of all her aunts and uncles,” the tribute read.

“Rest in Peace little angel.”

Ariah’s funeral was held on September 26, the same day information about her death was publicly released.