THE man convicted of the manslaughter of an 11-month-old baby girl has been jailed for a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years.
Brendon Toohey, 38, was convicted of the baby’s manslaughter in July this year and on Friday, in a sitting of the Supreme Court in Bathurst, was sentenced to jail for seven-and-a-half years, with a non-parole period of four years, six months.
Toohey, who has been in custody since his arrest in April 2014, will be eligible for parole on October 8, 2018.
During Friday’s sentencing, before Justice Desmond Fagan, the victim’s father and paternal grandmother gave victim impact statements to the court outlining the effect her death had on them and her extended family.
In a written letter read out to the court, the victim’s father told how he had to ring around to find out where his daughter’s body was, and how the offender was assisting with funeral arrangements.
He said he “had my suspicions” and then Toohey was charged the day before the funeral.
The victim’s father also said he suffered stress and anxiety about the offender walking free, “or not getting what he deserved”.
The victim’s paternal grandmother told how she was unable to go down to the supermarket.
“I couldn’t bear the look on people’s faces – the look of being the grandmother of that little girl,” she said.
Toohey has always maintained the baby suffered critical injuries when she fell from a trampoline and hit her head on the lid of a concrete septic tank as he was taking clothes off the washing line at a Mandurama home, about 30 kilometres south-west of Blayney.
At 11am on April 2, 2014, Toohey arrived at Blayney Hospital and raised the alarm.
Nursing staff, who saw the child was clearly seriously ill, assisted the accused and took the baby into a treatment room where, along with other medical staff, they performed extensive treatment including breathing assistance, CPR and the administration of medication.
The treatment continued long enough for the child's mother to be brought to the hospital but the baby was declared deceased at 12.40pm the same day.
Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and Chifley local area command officers formed Strike Force Zarebski to investigate the incident and Detective Inspector Luke Rankin said police were focusing their investigation on the family’s movements in the 24 to 48 hours leading up to the “sudden and unexplained” death.
After making inquiries and receiving the results of postmortem examinations, police arrested Toohey about a week later and he was charged with murder.