Near-miss month before death

Isabella Diefenbach’s death is being investigated.
Isabella Diefenbach’s death is being investigated. Contributed

A MONTH before baby Isabella Diefenbach died from a three-metre fall from a deck, she was involved in a near-accident on the rotting structure, a court heard yesterday.

The seven-week-old died after falling from the arms of her father, Adam Diefenbach, when he fell through a rotting wooden board on the front deck of their Yeppoon home on May 29, 2010.

Bella's grandmother, Lyn Diefenbach, yesterday took the stand on the second day of the coronial inquest into the baby's death at Rockhampton Magistrates Court.

Mrs Diefenbach said on April 27, 2010, she was leaving by way of the deck at the front of the house her son and daughter-in-law, Jennifer Diefenbach, rented from O'Reilly's Real Estate.

She testified she was holding Bella in a capsule in her right hand when a rotting wooden board cracked underneath her left foot.

"It was fortunate because most of my weight was on my right leg," Mrs Diefenbach said.

A former tenant of the house also told the court yesterday that a rotting floor board had given way under the heel of her shoe.

Nicole Maas testified she rented the home before the Diefenbachs and had complained to O'Reilly's about the rotting deck, but the agency told her they could not contact the house owner.

Ms Maas described the deck as "dangerous".

The lawyer representing O'Reilly's, Ms Rosengren, questioned Ms Maas why she chose to sign another lease to stay at the house when the deck was not fixed.

O'Reilly's principals, Ross and Judy O'Reilly, are expected to testify at the inquest today.

Topics:  accident death inquest isabella diefenbach yeppoon

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