A TODDLER died a slow and painful death at the hands of his stepdad while his mum did nothing to help, a court heard today.
Mason Lee suffered a ruptured intestine and a prolapsed anus after being punched in the stomach, and spent his final days crying and vomiting.
Mason Lee died after suffering horrific abuse at the hands of his stepfather[/caption]
His mother’s boyfriend, William Andrew O’Sullivan, and his mother are both serving nine-year jail sentences[/caption]
The 22-month-old’s lifeless body was found by emergency services in June 2016 at the home of William Andrew O’Sullivan, his mother’s boyfriend, in Caboolture, north of Brisbane.
His extensive injuries dated back months before his death, but no medical attention for him was sought despite obvious warning signs.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Mason has suffered a broken leg, a broken tailbone, and an injury to his small intestine that leaked faeces into his abdomen, slowly poisoning him.
O’Sullivan and Mason’s mother, Anne-Maree Lee, are both currently serving nine year jail sentences after pleading guilty to charges including manslaughter and child cruelty.
‘FEVERISH, DEHYDRATED, AND PALE’
Horrific details of Mason’s injuries were heard at a pre-inquest conference at Brisbane Coroners Court on Thursday.
Megan Jarvis, counsel assisting the coroner, said that in his finals days, Mason would have been in pain, vomiting, dehydrated, feverish, lethargic, pale and displaying “impaired levels of consciousness (and) altered breathing patterns”.
“It would have been obvious to any normal person he was very sick and in urgent need of medical attention,” she said.
By the time O’Sullivan called paramedics, Mason’s body was displaying signs of rigor mortis.
He originally tried to blame Mason’s death on parademics, claiming they responded slowly, despite their having arrived at the property six minutes after being called by a friend.
Mason’s blood was later found to contain traces of methamphetamine.
At O’Sullivan’s trial, Chief Justice Catherine Holmes described him as a self-confessed “crackhead” who was likely under the influence of drugs at the time of the offence.
Mason’s mother also reportedly took him to McDonald’s in the days before his death, when he was already in need of hospital treatment.
Her trial found that she had failed to care for her son.
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Despite Mason being known to child protection officers at the time of his death, he was not removed from the care of his mother and her boyfriend.
The inquest, expected to be held in November of December, will look at deficiencies in the Queenland government’s child safety department and understand “what was going on the minds and hearts” of officials who failed to act.
Mason’s mother, Anne Maree Lee, failed to seek medical attention before his death[/caption]
By the time emergency services were called, Mason’s body was already showing signs of rigor mortis[/caption]
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