NSW mum denies killing toddler

Mark Russell
·2-min read

The mother of a 20-month-old toddler who died after being attacked in her bedroom at a NSW Hunter region house has denied hitting or kicking the child.

Questioned by crown prosecutor Lee Carr SC in the Newcastle Supreme Court on Monday, the mother - who has been charged with manslaughter - said she had nothing to do with the toddler's death.

The mother's partner at the time, Timothy Andrew Whiteley, 28, is standing trial having pleaded not guilty to murdering the toddler.

Weighing 11kg and 84cm tall, the toddler 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 had suffered a number of blows or kicks to the body.

Mr Carr asked the mother, who cannot be named, on Monday if she had attacked the toddler earlier in the day when taking another daughter to pre-school but she denied it.

The mother also denied hitting the toddler in the head and ribs, kicking her, or throwing her against any solid object after a bang was heard coming from the girl's bedroom on June 19, 2018, just before 12.20pm.

Mr Carr questioned the mother's claim that the toddler's condition improved dramatically in the afternoon following the thud-style bang.

"Are you overstating her improvement because of the manslaughter charge laid against you?" the prosecutor asked.

The mother, who claimed the toddler had been talking more in the afternoon, replied, "No".

The jury was told the mother had been charged with manslaughter alleging gross criminal negligence for failing to provide the toddler with proper medical assistance or immediately call a doctor or an ambulance.

Cross-examined by defence barrister Peter Krisenthal, the mother agreed the toddler had been a clingy and "sooky" child who demanded all her attention, placing a lot of pressure on her.

The mother said the toddler was a poor sleeper and sometimes woke five to 10 times a night crying and wanting to be cuddled and fed.

The crown case against Whiteley is he 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 said she heard a loud bang before Whiteley came out carrying the child in his arms, telling her the girl had had a fall and bumped her head.

An ambulance was not called until 4.59pm despite the toddler appearing to be in a clearly distressed state, unconscious and not responding. She was pronounced dead at 6.03pm at John Hunter Hospital.

Whiteley's trial before Justice Stephen Rothman continues. The mother is due to stand trial for manslaughter next year.