Dispute over 74 discs at heart of case delays in disabled girl’s death

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

Newcastle courthouse. A DISPUTE over who should transcribe 74 discs of electronic recordings crucial to the case against a man accused of killing his severely disabled nine-year-old daughter looks set to delay the matter even further, nearly seven years after the girl was found dead inside her Clarence Town home.
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The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been charged with manslaughter and is expected to have his matter mentioned in Newcastle District Court today, ahead of aCourt of Criminal Appeal hearinginto a judge’s rulingnot to grant the defence atemporary stay in the proceedings.

The nine-year-oldgirl was found dead in her bed on the afternoon of July 17, 2011.

She suffered from cerebral palsy, required 24-hour care and was severely restricted in her movements.

An inquest into her death in April, 2013,heard the child died from a combination of internal injuries, whicha paediatrician said were caused by a blunt force to the stomach, such as a fist.

The injuries included tears to her liver, diaphragm, oesophagus and small bowel.

The inquest was about to enter its fourth day when Deputy State CoronerSharonFreundruled there was evidence capable of convicting a known person of a serious offence.

Strike Force Nylon detectives provided a brief of evidenceto the DPP to consider whether charges would be laid. The man was charged with manslaughter in February, 2014, and committed for trial in July that year.

A trial date in February, 2016, was set, but later vacated. A new trial date of May 29, 2017 was set, but suffered the same fate.

The man’s legal representativeshave pursueda stay in the proceedings, claimingthey don’thave the capacity or resourcesto listen to and transcribe 74 discs of listening devices material, which theyclaim would take 70 to 80 days to complete.

But in September last year Judge Roy Ellis denied an application from the defence to stay the proceedings until police provided a transcript of the discs.

The matter is currentlylisted for trial in July.

But that date could be vacated after a Court of Criminal Appeal hearing in June into the judge’s ruling on the temporary stay application.

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