COVID test delays NSW toddler murder trial

Mark Russell
·2-min read

The trial of a NSW man accused of murdering a 20-month-old toddler has been delayed because the crown prosecutor is ill and has to be tested for COVID-19.

Justice Stephen Rothman told the Newcastle Supreme Court jury on Thursday prosecutor Lee Carr SC had been unwell for the last day or so.

"No one's suspecting COVID but there's a requirement he be tested and isolated until the results come back," the judge said before adjourning the trial until Monday.

Timothy Andrew Whiteley, 28, who has pleaded not guilty to murder, had been in a relationship with the toddler's mother.

The toddler, 84cm tall and weighing 11kg, died from multiple injuries, including bleeding to the brain, broken ribs, a collapsed lung, lacerations to her liver and bleeding in her abdominal cavity.

The jury has been told the toddler died after suffering a number of blows or kicks to the body.

The crown case is Whiteley was the only adult in the toddler's bedroom when she was attacked.

Whiteley claims he didn't cause the girl's injuries or take part in the attack.

The toddler's mother told the jury on Wednesday she heard a loud bang before Whiteley came out of the girl's bedroom at a house in the Hunter region on June 19, 2018, carrying the child in his arms.

The mother said Whiteley claimed the toddler had had a fall and bumped her head.

She said Whiteley began performing CPR on the toddler saying: "Don't you die on me you little bitch".

Forensic pathologist Dr Allan Cala, who performed the autopsy, said the attack on the toddler would have been very sudden, acting like a shockwave.

Dr Cala said a CT scan revealed the toddler had suffered multiple injuries he believed had been caused by a "sudden, instantaneous force of a severe nature".

Her broken ribs alone were the result of a "short, sharp delivery of force".

According to the crown case, Whiteley and the girl's mother were the only adults inside the house with the toddler when there was a "thud-type bang" heard by a visitor just before 12.20pm.

The toddler was carried from the bedroom area soon after in a clearly distressed state, unconscious and not responding, but an ambulance was not called until 4.59pm.

Paramedics attempted to save her life but she was pronounced dead at 6.03pm at John Hunter Hospital.