Dead baby’s father a ‘violent schizophrenic’
THE father of the baby girl who washed up on a Surfers Paradise beach was a "violent schizophrenic" who had threatened a council worker two months before the baby's death, a court has been told.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have believed the baby was "possessed by demons".
The 48-year-old man was extradited to New South Wales yesterday after an appearance in the Southport Magistrates Court.
The baby's mother, a 23-year-old woman, is in hospital receiving medical treatment. The woman has not been charged.
NSW Police have issued a warrant for the man's arrest for the charge of murder.
The nine-month-old girl is alleged to have died between 6.45pm Saturday and 11am Sunday in the vicinity of the Jack Evans Boat Harbour, Tweed Heads.
The family, including the girl's two-year-old brother, were often spotted in the park next to the harbour in the past few months.
She was found on a Surfers Paradise beach about 12.30am Monday. It will be alleged her body floated about 30km north.
An autopsy was completed on Tuesday in Brisbane and police are waiting for the report to be finished.
For the second day in a row police divers scoured the Jack Evans Boat Harbour and Tweed River searching for evidence.
The man has been in Queensland Police custody since Monday and fronted court for the first time yesterday.
Defence lawyer Sunil Dutt, of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, did not oppose the man's extradition.
Before approving the man's transfer to NSW, Magistrate John Costanzo sentenced him to a charge of public nuisance after the man pleaded guilty.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable James Treanor told the court the council worker approached the man, his partner and their two children after complaints the family were camping in the sand dunes at Broadbeach about 10.20am on September 5.
Sen-Const Treanor said that after the council worker told the group to move on, the man hurled a beer can and abuse at him. "The defendant approached the informant, picked up a stick, held it above his head and ran at him," he said.
The court was told the man yelled obscenities and called the council worker a "dog" and "murderer".
Mr Dutt said the man thought the council worker was "invading his space".
He said the man had schizophrenia and had grown up in a poor family. Mr Costanzo noted the man had a violent history including previous charges of assault occasioning bodily harm.
In June, the man was given a 10-month suspended sentence for another public nuisance charge. The attack of the council worker in September breached that suspended sentence.
Mr Costanzo also ordered he serve that 10 months in prison. He was sentenced to an additional two months prison for attacking the council worker.
The man was given a parole release date of March 20 next year. The prison time can be served in NSW.
Mr Costanzo advised the court he had been asked to complete a child protection order for the baby girl's older brother early on Monday morning.
Tweed Byron Police Detective Chief Inspector Brendan Cullen said police were looking into how the baby ended up in Surfers Paradise.
"We are looking for any evidence which might be able to assist us with those inquiries," he said.
"The full circumstances of how that child ended up in the water are still unknown."
CCTV footage showed the family arriving at the park but shows only three family members leaving.
Insp Cullen said the investigation required "a significant effort and complexity".