Man jailed for manslaughter
A MAN convicted of and j a i l e d f o r t h e ma n - slaughter of a newborn baby girl inflicted her fatal head injuries possi bly after l osing his patience or temper.
Justice Kerry Cullinane made the remarks when sentencing Mark Al b e r t Shoesmith t o eight years behind bars.
A Townsville Supreme Court jury yesterday took two hours to find the 30-year-old guilty of the manslaughter of his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, Rose-Marie Williams.
The verdict follows a mistrial in the case last Nove mber when a n - o t her j ur y f a i l e d t o reach a decision over three days after becoming deadlocked.
The retrial heard RoseMarie was t a ken t o Proserpine Hospital on December 9, 2007, with severe skull fractures and her life support was switched off five days later because of extensive brain damage.
A police investigation w a s l a u n c h e d a f t e r medical staff suspected the infant was a victim of child abuse due to a number of injuries she had suffered including a broken collarbone, an abrasion on the head, a torn gum and retinal haemorrhaging – which included a retinal fold that is considered to be a classic symptom of ‘ ‘ s h a k e n b a b y s y n - drome’’.
Shoesmith, who was not the biological father but told family members he was, admitted three days after the child was h o s p i t a l i s e d h e h a d dropped her on to a coffee table then a concrete floor after falling asleep while feeding her.
C r o w n p r o s e c u t o r N i g e l R e e s s a i d a t sentencing that the de-
GUILTY: Mark Shoesmith is facing eight years behind bars
Rose-Marie Williams fendant showed a clear lack of remorse and the jury did not accept his e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h e child’s injuries.
‘‘ Rose-Marie Williams was a defenceless child who suffered significant trauma to the head,’’ Mr Rees said.
T h e C r o w n c a s e claimed Shoesmith hit the baby in the head or hit her head against an object and that there was an element of shaking as well.
G r e g L y n h a m , f o r Shoesmith, argued during the trial that his client, who has now started a new relationship with a woman five months pregnant with his child, had injured Rose-Marie accidentally then lied about it because he thought he would get the blame.
Justice Cullinane said when sentencing that the deceased baby suffered brain damage of a very high level from her primary carer on whom she depended entirely.
‘‘ The evidence suggests you were a very loving father and it’s likely this violence was inflicted due to a loss of patience or an outburst of temper,’’ he said.
The jury did not hear f r o m t he 1 7 - y e a r - o l d mother at the trial, Kimberley Williams, who was a hostile witness and refused to give evidence.