Child man­slaugh­ter case Jury out over baby’s death

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Roanne John­son roanne. john­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A SUPREME Court jury will start de­lib­er­at­ing on a ver­dict to­day in the case of a man ac­cused of the man­slaugh­ter of a three-mon­thold baby girl.

Mark Al­bert Shoe­smith has ad­mit­ted t o ac­ci­den­tally drop­ping Rose-Marie Wil­liams who was taken to the Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal on De­cem­ber 9, 2007.

The child’s life sup­port was switched off five days later when she was air­lifted to the Townsville Hos­pi­tal be­cause of se­vere skull frac­tures and ex­ten­sive brain dam­age.

Mr Shoe­smith, 3 0 , has pleaded not guilty to the man­slaugh­ter of the 13-weekol d i nfant who was t he daugh­ter of his 17-year-old de­facto, Kim­ber­ley Wil­liams.

In clos­ing sub­mis­sions yes­ter­day in front of Jus­tice Kerry Cul­li­nane, de­fence lawyer Greg Lyn­ham said the case against his client was cir­cum­stan­tial as there was no di­rect ev­i­dence Mr Shoe­smith in­flicted de­lib­er­ate harm on baby RoseMarie. ‘‘ It’s a sad, un­for­tu­nate, re­gret­table ac­count but not one that would at­tract a find­ing that Mark Shoe­smith com­mit­ted man­slaugh­ter,’’ Mr Lyn­ham said.

The de­fence claims RoseMarie’s head ac­ci­den­tally hit a cof­fee ta­ble and then con­crete floor af­ter she slipped be­tween Mr Shoe­smith’s legs when he fell asleep af­ter feed­ing her, caus­ing her fa­tal head in­juries.

M r L y n h a m s a i d M r Shoe­smith’ s a c c o unt e x - plained the child’s in­juries and his client did not im­me­di­ately tell hos­pi­tal staff he dropped her ear­lier that morn­ing be­cause he thought he would get the blame.

The de­fence painted Mr Shoe­smith as very dear and lov­ing fa­ther who as­sumed a parental role for a child not bi­o­log­i­cally his own af­ter re­con­nect­ing with a preg­nant ex-girl­friend just days be­fore Rose-Marie’s birth.

B u t C r o wn p r o s e c u t o r N i g e l R e e s a r g u e d M r Shoe­smith was a repet­i­tive liar who fibbed to his mother and sis­ter about be­ing the real fa­ther of the child.

Mr Rees said Mr Shoe­smith gave var­i­ous ex­cuses to fam­ily about the causes of RoseMarie’s many in­juries lead­ing up to her death, in­clud­ing a bruise on the cheek, small bump on the head and bro­ken col­lar­bone.

T h e p r o s e c u t o r s a i d Shoe­smith’s ly­ing ex­tended to not giv­ing his al­leged ver­sion of events to med­i­cal staff at the Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal and t ak­ing t wo days t o fi­nally make his ad­mis­sions to in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lice.

The Crown case claims that af­ter Mr Shoe­smith frac­tured Rose-Marie’s head by forcibly hit­ting it against an ob­ject, he failed to act im­me­di­ately, putting her back to bed with her mother and she wasn’t hos­pi­talised un­til hours later.

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