Police located her five-year-old son’s body in the river at Moama on Saturday morning after searching for him since he went missing on Thursday evening. Picture: Hamish Blair
Police located her five-year-old son’s body in the river at Moama on Saturday morning after searching for him since he went missing on Thursday evening. Picture: Hamish Blair News Corp Australia

Drowned five-year-old boy forces "full-scale inquiry"

A FULL-SCALE inquiry has been ordered into how authorities handled the case of a mother who allegedly drowned one of her sons in the Murray River and tried to kill the other.

It comes as The Daily Telegraph can reveal a photo of officers­ putting the mother into a police van after she appeared in court via video link from Echuca Hospital.

She was charged with attempted murder after allegedly trying to drown her nine-year-old son - who survived and is being treated after being ­attacked by a dog - in the river at Moama. Police located her other son's body in the river on Saturday morning.
 

The woman accused of drowning her son in the Murray River is led away by police. Picture: Ivy Wise/ Riverine Herald.
The woman accused of drowning her son in the Murray River is led away by police. Picture: Ivy Wise/ Riverine Herald. News Corp Australia

The woman, who suffered bipolar, had been on parole after being released from prison a month ago.

She had served almost a year in jail after being convicted of a string of offences, including common assault and aggravated break and enter.

Repeated calls for help to authorities by her concerned parents in recent weeks had also fallen on deaf ears, family lawyer Dale Brooks said.

Flowers have been placed on the banks of the Murray River in Moama where the body of a five year old boy was found after his mother allegedly drowned him. Picture: David Crosling
Flowers have been placed on the banks of the Murray River in Moama where the body of a five year old boy was found after his mother allegedly drowned him. Picture: David Crosling News Corp Australia

Mr Brooks said the woman's mother had cared for the children for the past 18 months. He said the accused woman was addicted to the drug ice and her family had warned both Family and Children's Services and Corrective Services about the "imminent risk" to the boys.

The daughter was taken to the grandmother's home a month ago, he said.

"The help she was after really was she wanted her daughter moved (away)," Mr Brooks said.

"They are saying they couldn't find somewhere."

Questions have been raised about whether authorities could have done more to prevent the tragedy and Premier Gladys ­Berejiklian said her government would examine the matter.

"We've asked for all of our agencies to give urgent reports on what they knew and ... we'll be instigating investigations but also co-operating with all the authorities to make sure we get to the bottom of this," Ms ­Berejiklian said.

"This is a human tragedy of the highest proportion. I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family. I can't imagine what they'd be going through ... and I want to give them an ­assurance that we will make sure all of our agencies look into the matter as appropriately and as quickly as possible."

The mother accused of attempting to kill her two sons, aged 9 and 5, can’t be identified for legal reasons.
The mother accused of attempting to kill her two sons, aged 9 and 5, can’t be identified for legal reasons. News Corp Australia

Tributes of teddy bears, flowers­ and cards for the five-year-old have appeared at the Deniliquin home where he and his brother lived with their grandmother.

Local resident Jayne McCalman­ said the grandmother had always been a "battler" and had worked a number of jobs to ­support the children.

"She's such a battler; she ­always soldiers on," she said.

The father of the boys arrived in Melbourne early yesterday to see his eldest son in hospital.

The man, who had never met his deceased son and had not seen the eldest boy in five years, said: "I just want to get closure and find out why this happened."

News Corp Australia

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