It Wasn’t A Pogo Stick.
An Austalian mother claimed her son’s death was the result of ‘falling off a pogo stick.’ She eventually pleaded guilty to her seven-year-old son’s manslaughter, assault and the production of child abuse material. The trial uncovered sickening details of one of the worst cases of abuse ever seen in Australia.
The NSW Supreme Court heard that the boy’s injuries made him look “like he’d been run over by a truck”. Some of those injuries — which included a fractured skull, several fractured ribs and bruising consistent with repeated physical abuse — were sustained after being allegedly punished for six hours including being forced to squat against a wall and stand up on a coffee tin for hours.
The boy eventually fell from an elevated position after being punished, the mother’s boyfriend admitted in a 2013 interview with police. The mother would put her children in nappies at night, despite all three being toilet trained, and made them use a bucket as a toilet. Their bedding was covered in feces and urine.
The court also saw a series of videos taken from a mobile phone that showed the mother berating the boy — who had a moderate intellectual disability — for wetting his pants. In another, the mother’s 31-year-old partner – who is charged with murder but has pleaded not guilty – is seen telling the boy’s siblings to beat him as part of a punishment regime based on the action movie 300.
The children stopped going to school, and the boyfriend encouraged the women and her other children to beat and starve the boy. At one stage, police were called while the family was briefly living in a caravan in Bulli; witnesses reported that the boy was being chased with a stick on the beach, not given food and water and forced to run along the beach until the point of collapse. It was also said he was hit repeatedly with a spatula. News Limited reported that the boy had been asking strangers for water.
On the morning of the boy’s death, the boy’s younger brother allegedly told a relative the mother’s boyfriend had forced him to eat his own feces and smacked his face when he vomited. Later the seven-year-old boy was allegedly punished for six hours including being forced to squat against a wall and stand up on a coffee tin for hours, before the mother heard a thud, according to to the statement of facts presented by the mother in court.
Her boyfriend then allegedly carried her son into the kitchen saying, “he fell and hit his head”. The boy remained unconscience for the remainder of the afternoon. The boyfriend asked if they should call an ambulance but the pair were concerned the boy’s other injuries would be obvious — so instead they tested whether the boy was “faking it,” by holding a lit flame near his fingers to see if he moved his hand when it was burned.
The couple then ate pizza for dinner and had sex while the boy lay in their home unconscious, the woman later told police. It wasn’t until the next morning that the mother finally called an ambulance. She then performed CPR while her boyfriend allegedly removed “evidence” from the studio including soiled bedding and drug implements.