16 August 2022

Mother accused of repeatedly assaulting two-year-old child, despite nine CYPS reports

| Albert McKnight
Coat of Arms on court building

A mother has been refused bail after she was charged with allegedly assaulting her daughter. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses alleged child abuse.

A young mother is accused of beating her two-year-old daughter numerous times, despite multiple reports being made to Child Youth and Protection Services.

Aged in her early 20s, she appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (15 August), where the court heard it alleged her actions had even risked killing her baby.

She was charged with three counts of assault and one count of ill-treating her daughter over alleged incidents across August 2022.

First, she allegedly repeatedly hit her child with her hand, causing the girl to scream in pain.

She was allegedly frustrated because her baby wouldn’t go to sleep on the floor, so she slapped her in the face at least five times while telling her to go to sleep.

She also allegedly struck the child in the mouth during a nappy change.

It was further alleged that the mother appeared to keep her child in a locked room in the darkness for up to six hours while she was vaping.

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Magistrate Robert Cook said the mother’s family had reported the alleged neglect of the girl after they saw she was sad and uncared for.

He said documents suggested nine reports had been made to CYPS about the mother.

She applied to be released on bail, but prosecutor Hannah Lee opposed this, saying the mother was alleged to have committed a number of actions that raised the spectre of her child dying, being taken from her care or becoming injured.

Ms Lee said the allegations included the mother dragging the girl into a house. For that to happen to a toddler’s body of that size, she said, there was an extreme risk of a serious injury.

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Magistrate Cook said without more information, he was not satisfied he could ameliorate the risks to the girl by granting bail.

He remanded the mother in custody and adjourned the matter to September for pleas.

The mother, appearing in court over audio-visual link, could be heard sniffling through much of his summary and was seen with her head in her hand before the link was turned off.

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