’Shame on all of us’: anger over baby death
A WOMAN who confronted an alleged Gold Coast baby killer fought back tears yesterday, saying she and the rest of the community had failed the little girl.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was among a small group of mourners who laid flowers in the water at Jack Evans Boat Harbour at Tweed Heads, where the nine-month-old infant was allegedly murdered by her homeless father.
The ceremony was held soon after the father, 48, appeared in Tweed Heads Court charged with murder.
Police allege he threw his baby into the harbour at the mouth of the Tweed River at the weekend, claiming the girl was possessed by demons. Her tiny body washed up 30km north at Surfers Paradise on Monday.
The woman, who became emotional when speaking to News Queensland yesterday, said she had intervened during a domestic dispute between the 48-year-old man and his 23-year-old partner, a university-educated woman from Geelong, who were living on and off in the park.
"I saw them here a few times after that," she said.
"The little one was just playing on the sand. It had the most gorgeous grin on its face, a little dimple, it was so sweet, big-eyed …
"I never for one minute thought it would get to that (the baby's death), so shame on all of us, because nobody did anything. We failed her."
An extradition hearing in Southport Court on Wednesday heard the baby's father was a violent schizophrenic with a lengthy criminal rap sheet, including convictions for assault, drugs and domestic violence.
He and his partner were arrested on Monday morning at Broadbeach after a domestic dispute.
The man appeared in court yesterday via video link from the cells of the nearby Tweed Heads police station, and was formally remanded in custody. He was also hit with a string of fresh charges for traffic offences, including high-range drink-driving and driving with unrestrained children.
Magistrate Jeff Linden granted a joint application by his lawyer and police to suppress the names of all parties involved in the case.
Mr Linden ordered the police brief be delivered by February 21 next year and remanded the man in custody. The case will return to court on February 25 for a mention.