Sickening photo sent to Mason Lee's mother day before toddler tragically died

Mason Lee’s stepfather sent the boy's mother a sickening photo of him lying face down in "volumes of vomit" inside a Brisbane home before he died, a court heard.

The toddler was found at a Caboolture home with shocking “head-to-toe” injuries on June 11.

Police allege Mason's mother Anne-Maree Lee, 37, her partner and Mason's stepfather William O'Sullivan, and Mr O'Sullivan's roommate Ryan Hodson, 17, allowed the 21-month-old boy to die rather than seek help.

Mason's death has been described as one of Queensland's most shameful cases of child neglect.
Mason's death has been described as one of Queensland's most shameful cases of child neglect.

Lee was sent a text message by Mr O'Sullivan showing Mason lying in bed surrounded by "volumes of vomit" just one day before he died, The Courier Mail reports.

Lee and Hodson are both charged with manslaughter and on Monday were denied bail in the Toowoomba Magistrate's Court.

O'Sullivan, who is facing the same charge, did not apply for bail when he appeared in court on Saturday and is also behind bars.

Mason's mother Anne-Maree Lee, his stepfather William O'Sullivan and Ryan Hodson have been charged with manslaughter.
Mason's mother Anne-Maree Lee, his stepfather William O'Sullivan and Ryan Hodson have been charged with manslaughter.

The chilling new details come as it was revealed Lee was allegedly in an abusive relationship with O'Sullivan, which she claimed prevented contact with the toddler before his death.

Mason was allegedly at O'Sullivan and Hodson's home for at least a week before he was found dead.

Police claim CCTV audio has also captured a verbal tirade from Hodson to the toddler.

"Shut the f*** up or I'll hit you in the head,” police allege Hodson was heard saying.

Hodson’s girlfriend Shiela defended her partner outside court claiming: “He didn’t do anything”.



Investigations are continuing as prosecutors try to find out who inflicted the shocking injuries, one of which includes the rupturing of Mason's small intestine that allegedly lead to his death.

Hodson’s defence argue he wasn’t Mason’s primary carer, but police claim he was more than a passive observer.

Lee remained silent for her court appearance, handcuffed with her head bowed as she muttered a couple of inaudible words to the magistrate before he refused her bail.

Prosecutors told the court Lee would be a flight risk and interfere with witnesses, namely her four other children.

Lee's defence called for strict bail conditions, claiming she wasn’t aware of the serious nature of her son’s injuries.

These shocking injuries allegedly included severe nappy rash, peritonitis and a ruptured small intestine.

Mason was seriously ill and police allege he was never taken to a doctor before he slowly died in Caboolture from shocking injuries. Photo: Supplied
Mason was seriously ill and police allege he was never taken to a doctor before he slowly died in Caboolture from shocking injuries. Photo: Supplied

It's claimed Mason's illnesses could have been treated with antibiotics and he would have been in excruciating pain before he died.

O'Sullivan reportedly found Mason "blue" and unresponsive after what was described as a "normal night".

“Two police and two ambos did their jobs and then they all just dropped to the gutter. There were ambos sobbing,” a neighbour told News Corp.

“They had to be taken away. They couldn’t deal with what they had seen.”

Mason's mother had given a tearful interview with 7 News in the days after he died.
Mason's mother had given a tearful interview with 7 News in the days after he died.

Queensland's Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman announced an official investigation into Mason's death in July.

It is believed Lee was at another house about a kilometre away when the toddler was found.

Act Insp Fadian said police interviewed up to 40 witnesses as part of the homicide investigation.

“We're trying to piece together not only what happened on that night but also in the months leading up to Mason's death," Fadian said.

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