Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Child Abuse Case: 'Worse Than Mason Lee' 'Grave Threat to Children'; State Opposition Calls for Immediate Court Appeal

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Child Abuse Case: 'Worse Than Mason Lee' 'Grave Threat to Children'; State Opposition Calls for Immediate Court Appeal

Article excerpt

Byline: Blake Antrobus Carlie Walker

THE two-year-old girl, who suffered broken bones and a ruptured bowel at the hands of a Maryborough man, had injuries "far worse" than those of slain Sunshine Coast toddler Mason Jet Lee.

That's according to the two-year-old's former foster carer who says the child should never have been returned home.

It comes as Queensland's Shadow Attorney General calls on the Palaszczuk Government to immediately appeal the sentence handed down to Jesse Lee James in Maryborough District Court which heard his tiny victim had suffered a broken back, pelvis and damaged bowel.

The 29-year-old, who was not related to the child, was sentenced to six years in jail for the offence of grievous bodily harm but taking into account the two years already served, was given immediate parole eligibility.

This is despite a previous conviction for bashing a three-year-old child.

While he remains behind bars for now, he can apply to the parole board for his freedom.

The girl's former foster carer yesterday told the Chronicle medical records showed her stomach lining had been completely ripped away as if she had been "hit with a blunt instrument".

"It's the same force as a car going about 60km an hour" she said.

"The doctors told police her injuries were worse than Mason Lee."

22-month-old Mason was found dead by paramedics in 2016. He had suffered a fatal blow to his stomach by his mothers' partner William Andrew O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan was jailed for nine years for Mason's manslaughter in 2018.

Queensland Children's Hospital was contacted for comment but said they could not confirm as the toddler had been in the care of child safety at the time of her admission.

The carer said the child had previously turned up to her house with a black eye and she had repeatedly expressed concerns to the department about the risk the child would be exposed to if she was returned. …

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