WATCHING her baby slowly die over a period of four and a half hours, pale and lifeless in front of her after being beaten senseless, will cost a Hunter woman up to five years behind bars.
Sentencing Judge Tim Gartelmann, SC, said the woman, who could have saved the 20-month-old child's life if she had sought assistance for her, showed no remorse.
Her failure to seek medical help was a substantial cause of the deceased's death, he said.
"It may be that medical help would have been futile at some point before the deceased stopped breathing but, if and when it would have been so is unknown, and the offender cannot have known it," he said.
Judge Gartelmann sentenced her to five years, with a non-parole period of two years and six months, making her eligible for release on parole on December 17, 2023.
She was afforded a 20 per cent discount on sentence due to her continuing mental health condition which includes depression and anxiety, as well as her lack of a criminal record and her assistance in gaining a conviction against her partner for the attack.
The child was attacked by the woman's partner, Timothy Whiteley, at the couple's Tarro home on an otherwise unremarkable afternoon in June 2018.
The mother heard a loud bang come from the bedroom and told police she thought then her daughter may have sustained a head injury.
The toddler was pale, floppy and lifeless, and her eyes were rolling back in her head.
Later she watched as Whiteley attempted CPR on the toddler, saw blood in her daughter's vomit and heard bubbling sounds coming from her as she tried to breathe.
The events were captured on CCTV footage that the couple had set up to monitor a former partner of the woman.
The young girl died from the injuries at the home about 6pm on June 19, 2018.
Judge Gartelmann said the loss of the deceased's life and its impact on others must be recognised "although no sentence any court might impose could ever compensate for it".
"The offender's conduct, or rather omission, must be denounced and she must be held accountable and adequately punished for it."
The reason for her inaction was to avoid further investigation from police as well as Family and Community Services, and no other motive could be ascertained, the judge said.
During cross-examination at the trial, she said she only thought it necessary to call an ambulance after she found the girl not breathing.
"I called for help as soon as I thought it was needed and that was when I found her unresponsive," the mother replied. "Prior to that she was okay. She had improved and I didn't think it was needed."
The jury, through their verdict, disagreed.
The child's 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.
Whiteley's sentencing judge Justice Stephen Rothman said Whiteley had committed a "severe and violent attack on a defenceless infant" and yet maintained his innocence, making it difficult to ascertain how and why the injuries occurred as well as what Whiteley's mental state was at the time.
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