News

Dad smothers his baby girl

Ipswich Magistrates Court
Ipswich Magistrates Court Rob Williams

A FATHER who smothered his two-month-old baby with a pillow until she turned blue has walked free from an Ipswich court. The 23-year-old man was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to common assault.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard the man, then 21, was looking after the little girl at home in Gatton while her mother had gone grocery shopping.

The grandmother of the child was in another room when she heard the baby scream and went to see what was wrong.

Crown prosecutor Nici Schmitt said the grandmother saw the father clasping the baby close to his chest, before he threw the baby onto the bed.

He then put a pillow over the body lengthwise and held his hands over the child's head and legs.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, applied pressure to the child for about five seconds before he realised he was being watched, and stopped.

The grandmother said when she went to pick the baby up, she had turned blue and was gasping for air.

She immediately told the father to leave the house, and when the child's mother came home they went straight to Laidley police.

The baby was examined at hospital, but she was not left with any permanent injuries.

Police traced the man later that day - October 25, 2010 - and he was charged with attempted murder, later downgraded to a count of common assault.

"His actions were serious and could have led to the child's death," Ms Schmitt said. "Parents who physically abuse their babies must be punished to deter them and others behaving in this way.

"The victim was only two-months-old at the time of the offence and relied upon the accused to provide her the necessities of life."

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said there was no chance the baby could defend herself or cry for help.

"It is obvious she was entirely and utterly in your care and there was no way, shape or form she could call out," Ms Sturgess said.

"As a parent you must comply with the duties as a protector of your child.

"It was a breach of trust - not only in what you did to your daughter but other members of the family."

The court was told the man had not had any contact with the child since the incident.

Defence lawyer Joanne O'Leary said the man had no criminal history, had started a new life with another woman and hoped to have children with her one day.

Ms O'Leary said the man planned to do a parenting course.

No conviction was recorded against the offender.

Hetty Johnston, founder of child protection charity Bravehearts, said the man would be a real danger around children if his behaviour was not addressed.

"We're too generous with adults and not careful enough around children," Mrs Johnston said.

"He obviously has an issue with controlling his anger and emotions, and unless he does some serious anger management courses he is just not safe to be around children."

Attorney-General Paul Lucas said decisions as to what charges were laid against any individual were made by the police and Department of Public Prosecutions.

He added: "Recent cases such as the Gabe Watson case demonstrate that sometimes prosecuting authorities will ensure that they select the charge with the best possible prospects of success, rather than risk an acquittal."

Topics:  ipswich court


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Members needed for club to survive

Auctioneer Len "Fonz” Bargenquest and Rotary member Errol Rix at the Blackwater Rotary Auction.

Blackwater Rotary Club is looking for more members

It's time to pay council rates

The Central Highlands Regional Council office in Emerald.

Rates are expected in the letterboxes of Central Highlands residents

Flood mitigation work complete

MITIGATION PROJECT: The earthmover at work to clear the Nogoa River.

The flood mitigation project in the Nogoa River is complete.

Local Partners

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

A MERE two points separated two teams from My Kitchen Rules, in a spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Robert Irwin introduces Jimmy Fallon to wild guests

Robert Irwin introduces Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a cuddly sloth.

ROBERT Irwin continues Steve's legacy.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us a 'tender' crime film

Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in a scene from the movie Trespass Against Us.

Tough British film about criminal clan proves touching

Crocodile, hippo fears as I'm A Celeb filming hit by flooding

Flooding hits the set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Fears crocodiles and hippos could infiltrate I'm A Celeb camp

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!