Parent of abused toddler to be deported
AN INDIAN national will be deported and his ex-wife jailed for abusing the woman's toddler.
The young girl was underweight, had bruises all over her body and had fractures to her right leg, collarbone, shoulder and arm.
The cruelty spanned eight months while the family travelled across Brisbane, Gladstone and Mackay and the girl was two to three years old. The 27-year-old man and 22-year-old woman, who are no longer together and cannot be named for legal reasons, were sentenced in relation to a series of child abuse offences in Townsville District Court.
Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate said the girl was left alone in her cot in her own filth without medical attention despite a "litany of injuries".
The court heard the man would hit the young girl with kitchen utensils and yell at her.
On one occasion he grabbed the child's left ankle and swung her around the room to check her pain tolerance. When the child was assessed by authorities in September 2017 she was so dirty she had to be wiped down before she was examined.
Defence barrister Wayne Pennell told the court the girl's mother left home at the age of 15. She became pregnant with the girl in Year 12 and dropped out after a severe bout of morning sickness, he said.
Defence barrister Travis Schmitt told the court the co-accused arrived in Australia on a visa from India to study in 2014. His visa expired in 2017 and he intended leaving Australia, Mr Schmitt said.
The man wrote a letter to the court in which he admitted his guilt and regretted his actions towards the victim.
Mr Walklate said the pair's attempts to explain the situation were "characterised by lies" and "minimisation" and in the mother's case "bizarre explanations" including the child was possessed by demons, which had caused the bruising.
Mr Walklate said the child had gained weight and height and was doing "remarkably well" but had a "mild developmental delay" and toileting issues.
The man had spent 15 months behind bars while the woman spent 161 days in jail and was on bail.
Judge John Coker said the pair caused "physiological and or emotional harm" to the girl and failed to "respond in any proper or humane way in relation to the distress that the child was suffering".
"It involved both physical and emotional harm directed to this little girl," he said.
"It involved slaps and hits; it involved intimidating behaviour.
"It involved behaviours that were so repeated in your dealings with the child that she became almost like a Pavlovian dog, in that a tapping of a spoon on a hard surface would lead her to curl up into a foetal position in fear of what might follow."
The woman received a head sentence of three years and will be eligible for parole on September 6. The man was given a head sentence of three years and nine months and was likely to be deported.