Man Found Guilty Of Manslaughter After Hitting Four-Year-Old
A Victorian child who weighed only 14 kilogrammes was killed by her mother's boyfriend when he stomped on her for wetting his couch.
Victorian man Mussie Debresay was found guilty of manslaughter on Monday after he inflicted some internal injuries on the toddler back in 2015.
The 37-year-old had initially claimed the girl had fallen from his couch, but a Victorian Supreme jury had found that was not a possible cause given her internal injuries.
Debresay pleaded not guilty to murdering the toddler 11 years ago.
The jury delivered a verdict of guilty on the charge of manslaughter and accepted the evidence of victim's four-year-old brother who witnessed what happened.
He was cleared of the most serious charge of murder.
During a short relationship with the child's mother, Debresay had taken control of disciplining the children, and they had been staying with Debresay on May 13, 2005, when the toddler's abdomen was deliberately squeezed or compressed by an extreme, severe force.
Doctors said it could not have been accidental.
She was dead within hours.
When the victim’s brother was asked what happened he said she did a ‘wee wee’ on the couch ad ‘MJ hit her’.
'Beside this stomping motion in this conversation, he also demonstrated a swinging, kicking motion,' Prosecutor Sally Flynn said in her closing address to the court.
When a babysitter came over later, she noticed the toddler was slumped across the coffee table with her feet on the ground and appeared tired.
The jury heard the two-year-old would have been lethargic due to massive internal bleeding caused by the injuries she'd sustained.
Just hours later the toddler became unresponsive, and her mother rushed her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Debresay was taken into custody to await his pre-sentence hearing in November.
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