A couple from Brisbane, Australia was jailed after their 2-year-old daughter died in “excruciating pain” from severe burns for being held under boiling hot water for soiling her nappy.
In May 2017, Maddilyn-Rose Ava Stokes was admitted to the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and was found to have from significant burns to more than a fifth of her body.
The water scalded the toddler’s back, between her legs, and only the balls and heels of her feet escaped the steaming water.
The poor child later on suffered a cardiac arrest and died of sepsis.
“She would have been in great misery and pain over that period of time, unable to walk,” said Crown prosecutor Sarah Farnden told the Supreme Court in Brisbane.
“She would have been dehydrated and weak, unable to eat and drink properly, possibly vomiting — she likely became delirious and unconscious before ultimately going into cardiac arrest and ceasing breathing.”
Her father Shane David Stokes, 33, and her mother Nicole Betty Moore, 26, faced charges of torture and manslaughter to which they have pleaded guilty.
The sentencing hearing heard Stokes admitting to holding the toddler under running hot water from a tap in the bathtub at their Northgate home, severely burning the girl’s legs, back, groin and buttocks.
He said that he told his partner, Moore, that another child inflicted the horrific injuries to their daughter, and the couple had not called an ambulance until she suffered a cardiac arrest five days later.
The court also heard that the couple attempted to treat her themselves and police found bandages, make-up cleaning pads, and toilet paper with blood on them at their home.
Farnden told the court that medical experts found the injuries would have been “obvious” and would have likely worsened over time.
“She would have screamed and cried at the time the wounds were inflicted,” she said.
“If that medical [treatment] had been provided, her chance of survival would have been 100 per cent.”
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