A HUNTER mother put her own "self-interest" before the medical needs of her toddler and made a "deliberate and considered choice" to wait to call an ambulance until the girl was found unresponsive because she was worried about further involvement from Family & Community Services (FACS), a jury has been told.
The mother, who cannot be named because it would identify the young girl, is accused of failing to get medical attention for her seriously injured 20-month-old daughter for nearly five hours as the toddler's condition declined and she ultimately died. She has pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter by criminal negligence and is facing a trial in Newcastle District Court.
The young girl died about 6pm on June 19, 2018, after earlier that day suffering multiple blunt force trauma injuries.
Her injuries included six broken ribs, a punctured lung, bleeding on the brain, facial bruises and lacerations to her liver that led to internal bleeding, among other injuries that were likely inflicted by multiple punches or kicks and occurred in a bedroom out of sight of the girl's mother.
During her closing address on Monday, Ms Kelton outlined the evidence in the trial and took the jury through the elements of manslaughter by criminal negligence, saying the mother had breached the duty of care she owed her daughter by not getting medical attention.
"The Crown submits she made a deliberate and considered choice to wait," Ms Kelton said. "Not to take [the girl] to hospital, not to get medical care and not get an ambulance.
"That was her deliberate, considered decision.
"That was the accused putting self-interest before getting medical care for her child. "A child who was 20-months-old and a child who might otherwise have survived. "The Crown says that those factors are so gravely wrong and warrant such a high risk of harm that it warrants criminal punishment. "And the Crown submits to you that you have all the evidence available to find the accused guilty."
During his closing address, barrister Terry Healey said a forensic pathologist Dr Allan Cala said to the "casual observer" the girl could have appeared sleepy when she was in fact suffering serious internal injuries.
Mr Healey said the mother had given evidence that regardless of FACS involvement she would have taken her daughter to hospital.
The jury is expected to retire on Tuesday.