Hunter mother guilty of manslaughter over daughter's 2015 death

Newcastle courthouse.
Newcastle courthouse.

A HUNTER woman whose 12-year-old daughter was savagely beaten, “tortured” and murdered by her stepfather over three days in 2015 did not call an ambulance or seek medical assistance for the young girl until after she was dead. 

For more than four years her partner subjected the young girl to weekly beatings, during which he would tie her up and beat her with wood, punch, slap and kick her and rub salt and vinegar into her wounds. 

But the first time the mother ever called for help was after she found the 12-year-old girl dead inside the family home in September, 2015.  

Medical experts say the girl would have survived her horrific injuries if an ambulance had been called while she was still alive. 

The woman told detectives she repeatedly told her partner “you’re going to kill her” and said the girl needed to go to hospital, but her partner told her she would “lose the kids” if the injuries were discovered. 

She spoke to a social worker a week before the child’s death and at least one person offered to help her escape, but in an extreme case of “battered wife syndrome” the woman was too fearful of her partner to stop the attacks or get help. 

The mother, who cannot be named because it would identify the young girl, spent a few hours playing the poker machines at the local club as her partner was brutally beating the girl over the weekend of September 20 to 22, 2015. The woman later told police she would go to the club when “everything’s OK at home ... when I know he’s like that, that’s my escape from him ... even if I can just get a bit of a breather to get my head straight.”

After her partner’s arrest on September 23, 2015, the mother continued to lie for him, omitting details of assaults on the young girl on September 20 and telling police she put her to bed the night before her body was found. 

Last week, the girl’s stepfather was jailed for a maximum of 37-and-a-half years, with a non-parole period of 28 years. 

The mother will face a sentence hearing in Newcastle Supreme Court on Thursday.