Man jailed for man­slaugh­ter

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - Roanne John­son

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.

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