Mur­der par­ents jailed for 30 years

The Australian - - THE NATION - AAP

A NSW mother who ad­mit­ted to killing her young son be­cause he looked like his fa­ther has been jailed for at least 33 years for his mur­der.

The mother had ini­tially claimed her son, 3, died after trip­ping over a rope tied to the fam­ily dogs. But the court was told Joseph died after al­most two months of abuse at Oberon, near Bathurst, in Au­gust 2014.

The boy’s step­fa­ther will spend at least 30 years be­hind bars after he was also found guilty of mur­der. “This was a ter­ri­ble crime of child mur­der,” judge Peter John­son said when sen­tenc­ing the pair in the NSW Supreme Court in Dar­linghurst.

Joseph had his head slammed in a cup­board, eyes cov­ered with duct tape and naked body shut in an ice box in the weeks be­fore he died. His step­fa­ther, 48, told po­lice he taped a ball into the child’s mouth and caused his pe­nis to swell by flick­ing it with a wooden spoon. Joseph’s 43year-old mother told po­lice the boy “just pushed my but­tons too many times” and she “didn’t con­nect with him”.

“I had so many thoughts about killing Joey,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, I did love that boy, but there was part of me that hated him be­cause he looked like his fa­ther.”

Jus­tice John­son said Joseph was “ex­ceed­ingly vul­ner­a­ble” after weeks of abuse by his mother and step­fa­ther, which sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced his ca­pac­ity to re­sist the fi­nal, fa­tal as­sault.

Out­side court Joseph’s un­cle said the “ap­pro­pri­ate pu­n­ish­ment” was “dished out”. “It still doesn’t bring back Joseph but there’s some clo­sure there in terms of the length of the sen­tence,’’ he said.

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