The vegan parents of a baby who was so malnourished she developed rickets and had no teeth have been spared jail.
The girl's mum, 33, and dad, 35, who can't be named for legal reasons, were sentenced at Downing District Court to an 18-month intensive corrections order after pleading guilty to failing to provide for a child, causing danger of serious injury. They will also take part in 300 hours community service.
The baby was left severely malnourished from a vegan diet. CREDIT: Supplied
The baby was discovered at 19 months old when she had a seizure and was treated at Sydney Children's Hospital and staff noticed that ay 4.89 kilos she was severely underweight and had no teeth.
The girl's mum told a hospital doctor that the entire family followed a strict vegan diet.
The baby suffered from the bone condition rickets, which made her bones soft and hadn't been vaccinated or visited a doctor since she was a newborn.
She couldn't roll over or do some tasks such as pick things up with her hands.
It was later discovered that her diet had consisted of oats with olive oil, vegetables, rice milk and potatoes.
In sentencing, Judge Sarah Huggett said the neglect was reckless rather than intentional.
'It’s the responsibility of every parent to ensure the diet they provide children is balanced,' she said.
'That responsibility remains a very important one regardless of dietary preference. There must have been occasions to appreciate [their] daughter was not thriving.'
The Judge added that the baby's mum's fixation with a vegan diet left her daughter in 'considerable danger of injury falling short of death'.
The baby suffered from the bone condition rickets.
The little girl is now three years old and lives with an aunt in Queensland along with two older siblings.
When she taken away from her parents in April 2018 and was put on a normal diet she started to gain weight and can now walk and talk.
However, she has ongoing developmental issues and needs to have speech therapy and physiotherapy.
The little girl can now stand and walk.
She is no longer in the custody of her parents.
Although all the parents have lost custody of all three of their children they still see them intermittently.
The couple has since split up and they both sobbed as they were sentenced. The mum has sought support for natal and postnatal depression which she said made her feel worthless.
The judge said there was a low-risk of the pair re-offending.
Riah MatthewsRiah Matthews is the Deputy Editor for that’s life! She started her journalism career in the UK at the Nottingham Post before moving to Australia and working on that's life! and the podcast How I Survived. Her work has also been published in the Daily Mail, Chat, Woman, Pick Me Up, Take a Break, Real People and on Newidea.com.au