Tyrell Cobb died on May 24, 2009, at a home on the Gold Coast.
Tyrell Cobb died on May 24, 2009, at a home on the Gold Coast.

The painful 'horror' last hours of Tyrell Cobb's life

HIS little body wracked with pain, feeling lethargic and running a high fever and unable to eat, drink or talk, Tyrell Cobb's last day alive was one of "horror".

With green bile flowing from his nose and mouth along with a severe injury to his tummy, a fractured arm and 53 bruises and 17 abrasions, a Brisbane justice says Matthew Ian Scown should have known there was something terribly wrong with the four-year-old Gold Coast boy.

Tyrell was pronounced dead on May 24, 2009, shortly after Scown called 000 to tell them the son of his partner, Heidi Strbak, was unwell.

"Looks like he's going to die on me," Scown told the emergency operator.

On Wednesday - eight years after Tyrell's death - Scown pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court to manslaughter.

Tyrell's family was not in court to watch Scown's sentencing but the defendant's mother was there.

The elderly woman sobbed loudly as her son's four-year jail term was immediately suspended because Scown had spent almost three years on remand.

He did not speak to media when he left the courthouse.

During Scown's sentencing, Justice Martin Burns heard of the trauma and pain Tyrell endured in his final 32 hours.

Crown prosecutor Phillip McCarthy said Scown was responsible for Tyrell's death because he left it too late before seeking help.

If Scown had called paramedics just 12 hours earlier, the youngster would be alive today, Mr McCarthy said.

Mr McCarthy said Tyrell's physical reaction to his severe abdominal injury would have been bad enough for Scown to know something was wrong.

The court heard Scown knew the child was hurt because he tried to get Ms Strbak to take Tyrell to the hospital.

Mr McCarthy said the mother, instead, went with her brother to get cigarettes, leaving Scown to care for Tyrell.

About 40 minutes after Ms Strbak left the Biggera Waters home, Scown phoned 000.

Scown tried resuscitating the child but when paramedics arrived they found Tyrell cold, clammy, non-responsive and without a heartbeat.

"The child was in a very poor condition for a very long period," Mr McCarthy said.

"Tyrell wasn't holding down food or water. 

"The condition he suffered would have led to dehydration, he would have been lethargic.

"His vomit contained bile and he developed a fever.

"After 28 hours he would have stopped communicating."

Justice Burns said the 35-year-old former Sunshine Coast man's plea of guilty was recognition that he failed the little boy.

"The horror of all of this is that the injuries Tyrell sustained were treatable and that he would have survived if he received treatment when he first became symptomatic," Justice Burns told the one-time Gladstone-based worker.

"Tyrell would have been in extreme pain and very very ill up to the time of his death.

"Your plea of guilty is an acceptance by you that you owed Tyrell a duty of care to obtain medical assistance for him.

"Your failure to obtain medical assistance for him renders you criminally negligent for his death."

The court heard that two weeks before Tyrell died, Scown told the child's father he was worried about the boy who, at the time, had a badly injured arm.

"You contacted Tyrell's father to persuade Tyrell's mother to get Tyrell medical treatment," Justice Burns told Scown.

Tyrell was eventually taken to the Gold Coast Hospital where medics treated him for a fracture.

The court heard a follow-up appointment for Tyrell was made, but he did not attend it.

Justice Burns said there was no suggestion Scown was responsible for Tyrell's injuries.

Barrister John Allen said his client thought of Tyrell all the time.

"There's not a day goes by that he (Scown) doesn't think of Tyrell," Mr Allen said.

The court heard Tyrell's mother is expected to face trial next month on a charge of manslaughter. - NewsRegional

News Corp Australia

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