We were all horrified at news reports a couple of days ok coming out of Penrith where a man put a 10 month old baby on the floor of a shower and turned the hot water on. The man then went outside for a smoke. The baby is currently fighting for life in an induced coma with third degree burns to half his body. He also has bruising to his skull and jaw.
The cause:- the baby had thrown up.
So who is this man who would do such a thing?
I quote Laura Banks writing in the Daily Telegraph. (November 24th Page 2).
“Unemployed and living on welfare, the accused had recently resumed custody of his own son (not this baby) after the child was taken away by the Department of Corrective Services, which refused to comment on the case. It is understood that the man and baby were the only two home at the time of the incident on Sunday and that the man had been dating the baby’s mother for the last five months.
The court heard he had a long history of violence.
Court documents revealed that in the last five years he had been charged with six counts of common assault, two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two of occasioning grievous bodily harm and affray. He was handed a suspended sentence for a reckless wounding charge in 2012”.
Now two things come out of this for me.
1) I don’t know the chronology of these charges but if that all happened in the last five years you have to wonder why he wasn’t in jail and why the suspended sentence in 2012 wasn’t converted to a custodial sentence if any of these events occurred post 2012. Is this another example of the Judicial system failing the community, the police and may I even say Aussie kids?
2) I wonder if the mother knew she was living with a violent man. May I suggest that men convicted of violent crimes should be put on a register similar to the sex offenders register so that women can have access to information and can better protect themselves and their children. I remember a South Australian case earlier this year where a man with a violent history made a four year old girl ride a motor bike around and around the backyard. She kept falling off. She later died from her injuries and further evidence showed she had been being physically abused for a while. Authorities knew of his violent history but couldn’t tell the mother due to privacy laws and a little girl dies a painful and needless death as a result. Maybe people should understand that once you violate a person’s physical health you give up the right to privacy. Particularly when you embed yourself into a family who trusts you, loves you and looks to you as protector.
A Violent Offenders Registry would be one way a family could at least see the history of the person that they are inviting into their home.
Australia is increasing becoming a nanny state. Everything is regulated, licensed, banned, or dialed down so we are all safe. Yet the areas where authorities do need to step in, they seem unwilling. Apparently whether my fireplace has a permit or not carries more weight, or whether I paid a levy so I can throw a fishing line into the water has Big Brother frothing at the mouth. Whether a single mother’s kids are safe in the presence of her new boyfriend:- privacy is the all powerful god we worship here.
Anyway that’s what I think.