Nicole’s husband was caring for their baby daughter when he did the unthinkable...
Here, Nicole Gorman, 34, tells the story in her own words.
M￼y husband Arron and I were trying not to get too excited, but it was near impossible.
‘Me and your daddy have waited so long for you,’ I said to my growing bump.
We’d been through years of heartbreak trying for a baby. Suffering fertility issues, doctors had recommended we tried IUI – a treatment where sperm is directly inserted into the woman’s uterus.
Our first attempt was successful but I’d miscarried at nine weeks.
Both distraught from our loss, we’d left it months before trying again. And now, our longed-for miracle bub was on the way.
Arron was my best friend, he was always making me laugh and I couldn’t wait to start a family with him.
‘I’m so excited to be a daddy,’ he grinned as we went shopping for a pram.
Finally, on May 2, 2017, little Isabella arrived.
‘A beautiful name for a beautiful girl,’ Arron said.
She was such a good baby and would barely cry.
When Isabella was three months old, we decided to use IUI again and try for another baby.
We were both over the moon when I found out I was pregnant, but just a few weeks later, I suffered another devastating miscarriage.
Focusing on Isabella helped with the grief. And I also returned to work as a manager at Macca’s.
Arron worked nights as a baker, so when he got home around 10am, he would take over looking after Isabella in the day.
It was tiring, but we were trying to save money so we decided not to get childcare.
The weekends were family time and we’d often take Isabella swimming. She adored the water and my heart would melt seeing her beaming face as she splashed about with Arron. He was a great dad – although he could get a little frustrated over Isabella’s crying.
‘Why won’t she stop?’ he’d ask, as he tried to rock her to sleep.
‘She’s just a baby,’ I reminded him.
At nearly six months, she was really starting to show her cheeky personality.
Then one morning, I kissed her goodbye as she sat happily in her bouncer.
‘See you tonight love,’ I called out to Arron.
Driving home that evening, I was excited to see my family. But as I pulled up, I noticed there were police outside the house, then an officer walked over to my car and asked who I was.
‘I live here with my husband Arron and daughter Isabella,’ I explained.
‘I’m so sorry to tell you this, but Isabella has passed away and Arron has handed himself into the police,’ he told me.
Numb with disbelief, I could barely comprehend what he’d said. It didn’t make any sense. Why would Arron hurt our girl? Still in shock, I called my mum, Maxine.
‘Isabella is dead and Arron’s at the police station,’ I blurted.
‘What are you talking about?’ she asked, hardly believing it either. ‘I’m coming over.’
Devastatingly, it was true. Police said Arron had told them that he’d thrown Isabella on the floor. She’d suffered catastrophic brain injuries. The house was now a crime scene so I wasn’t even allowed to go inside.
Completely broken, I went to stay with Mum and my sister Rhoda.
For the first few days, I didn’t even cry. Then it hit me and I broke down uncontrollably. Next came the anger. My gorgeous girl was gone and my husband – her daddy – was the reason why.
At Isabella’s funeral, I tried to stay strong, but then they played the song I used to sing to her, You Are My Sunshine, and I just sobbed.
In March, Arron Colin Martin, 37, appeared at WA Supreme Court and pleaded not guilty to murder.
Prosecutor Amanda Forrester told the jury Arron hurled Isabella from a height of almost two metres.
In a police interview played to the court, Arron said he’d tried to put her to bed about 4pm so he could sleep, but ‘she just wouldn’t stop crying’.
‘The crying got louder and louder and louder...’ he said. ‘I picked her up and just shook her.
She wouldn’t stop so all of a sudden I just threw her on the floor... six foot, it’s a long way down.’
Under further questioning he added, ‘I just wanted her to shut up.’
Despite seeing her head start to swell, Arron placed Isabella back in her crib and did not seek medical attention for her. He then attempted to take his life twice, before driving to the police station. It took the jury just three hours to find him guilty. He’s due to be sentenced in June. But no amount of prison time will bring back my precious girl.
I haven’t spoken to him since.I never stop thinking about Isabella and some days I break down and cry over my little girl.
Next to my bed is her favourite stuffed toy monkey, so that she’s always close by.
One day I hope to have more children, but it will be with a sperm donor. I could never trust another man with my child again. I’ll never get over it. There will always be a special place in my heart for my darling Isabella.
For support, call Lifeline 13 11 14 (Aus) or 0800 543 354 (NZ).
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