Murder parents jailed for 30 years
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.