Charges leave town in shock

While his baby boy lay stricken in a cot at Princess Margaret Hospital more than 200km away, Daniel Garlett spent Tuesday night doing what he does every Tuesday night - playing darts at the Kellerberrin and Districts Club.

Just hours earlier Mr Garlett, 39, was charged by police over an incident that resulted in his seven-month-old son being flown to Perth with serious head injuries.

The child's mother Alana Hayden found the boy limp when she came home on Monday afternoon. He was rushed to Kellerberrin hospital where a decision was soon made to transfer him to Perth.

The four siblings of the seven-month-old boy allegedly assaulted by his father were also taken to hospital for routine medical assessments this week.

The Department for Child Protection and Family Support said today it was standard procedure for children taken into the care of the department.

The department said it could not disclose specific details about the health of the children for confidentiality reasons.

But Princess Margaret Hospital has confirmed that the twin brother of the injured boy has also been admitted.

It is understood police have asked for a more detailed assessment of old bruising on the infant.

Both boys are in stable conditions.

BASHED BABY'S SIBLINGS IN CARE

Detectives interviewed Mr Garlett and he was charged on Tuesday with grievous bodily harm.

But if you ask fellow darts players and staff at the local recreation centre that same evening, there was negligible change in the accused's demeanour.

"He didn't bat an eyelid," one man said. "Someone told me the next day he had been charged . . . I couldn't believe it."

The small Central Wheatbelt community was in shock yesterday over the allegations against Mr Garlett.

In a town where everybody knows everyone, Kellerberrin residents struggled to make sense of how a man painted as a "gentle giant" could be charged with such a heinous crime.

"You wouldn't pick it," Kellerberrin Dart Club president Graham Bee said. "He is quite a gentleman. I'm bemused, blown away even."

More than a handy darts player, Mr Garlett's name sits atop the weekly and yearly averages for the eight-team local competition.

Bemused teammates and competitors stressed repeatedly he was friendly and sociable.

At Mr Garlett's home yesterday, toys laid strewn across the unkempt yard. Police cars slowed as they passed the Connelly Street property - clearly deserted - before moving on.

More than one local surmised that Mr Garlett had left town because of a fear of retribution from the child's mother's side of the family but he is required to attend Kellerberrin police station twice a week as part of his bail conditions.

In Merredin, 55km away, more people who know Mr Garlett told of their shock. "It's so out of character," one woman said.

"He is such a gentle man."

The boy remains in a stable condition in PMH.

Mr Garlett is expected to face Merredin Magistrate's Court on August 19.

The West Australian

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