A couple from Oberon in New South Wales central-west have been found guilty of murder after the 3-year-old in their care died.
The boy had been placed in the care of his mother and her new husband just seven weeks before his death.
Paramedics arrived at the scene to find him in cardiac arrest, with his mother claiming his injuries were caused after he tripped over a lead tethering the family’s dogs.
Further investigation however revealed that the boy had suffered incredible abuse in the home, with his adult half-brother testifying to horrendous acts of cruelty on the part of his parents.
He told court that the mother had shaken the toddler so harshly his head had wobbled ‘back and forth.’ He also said that the step-dad had forced Timothy into an sky full of ice, naked, and held the lid down for five minutes.
'I have never heard a person scream like that. I went outside because I couldn't take it any more,' he said.
Horrific details continued to emerge in court, including allegations that the step-dad had stuck duct tape over his eyes. He had also had a tennis ball forced into his mouth, his head slammed in a wardrobe door, and been flicked in the penis with a wooden spoon.
The mother admitted to police that she wanted to kill the boy because he resembled his father.
The defense argued that despite the testimonies of abuse, there was no evidence that this behaviour had caused the boy’s death and that he could have died after tripping over the lead, as the couple claimed.
The jury decided, however. that the mother’s admission of intent to kill her son and the prolonged abuse were enough to convince them that the couple had caused the toddler a fatal injury.