Toddler suffers 'catastrophic brain injury' in alleged beating

The Sydney Morning Herald

By Jenny Noyes and Sally Rawsthorne

May 23, 2019

A Queensland man has been charged with grievous bodily harm after allegedly beating his partner's daughter at a holiday rental home in northern NSW, causing the toddler to suffer a "catastrophic brain injury", while the mother has been charged with neglect.

Police launched an investigation after being notified on March 12 that a 23-month-old girl had presented at Maclean District Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The toddler remains in hospital in a serious condition. A police source quoted doctors as saying she had permanent brain damage that would "significantly impact her for the rest of her life".

Police allege the child's brain injury was the result of an assault by her mother's partner at a holiday rental home in Grafton.

The couple, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, took three days to seek medicalattention for her, police allege.

Following extensive inquiries, officers from Queensland Police's Child Trauma Unit arrested the couple at a home in the Brisbane suburb of Mansfield on Tuesday.

NSW detectives travelled to Queensland on Tuesday, launched extradition proceedings and escorted the pair to Tweed Heads police station on Wednesday, where they were charged.

The man briefly faced Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday on charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and failing to provide for a child causing danger of death.

He was refused bail because of the unacceptable risk that he would fail to return to court, commit a serious offence, endanger victims or the community or interfere with a witness or evidence.

The woman was charged with failing to provide for a child causing danger of death, and concealing a child abuse offence.

She was granted conditional bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on June 19.

The man will return to the same court on July 17.


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