Australia: Father jailed for underfeeding his 4yo disabled daughter with 'nutritionally inadequate' formula until she died - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia Father jailed for underfeeding his 4yo disabled daughter with 'nutritionally inadequate' formula until she died

06:26  10 october  2019
06:26  10 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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A single father has been jailed after failing to properly feed and care for his severely disabled “The essence of your offending is that you failed to provide your daughter with adequate food or medical Instead, he fed her nutritionally incomplete toddler formula he bought from a chemist causing her to

However, believing that her daughter was fine, Marrie decided to ignore the doctor’s advice and wait until her next She died in my arms after spending about 12 hours in the hospital.” Marrie says that she absolutely believes that John did He has since been jailed for life without parole for her murder.

Scales of justice.© AAP Image/Dave Hunt Scales of justice. A single father who underfed his four-year-old disabled daughter, giving her "nutritionally inadequate" toddler formula in the months before she died, has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail.

Gary Ronald Smith, 41, pleaded guilty in the District Court in Brisbane to child cruelty for failing to provide enough food and medical treatment for his daughter Jade, who died in June 2015, weighing just 8.57 kilograms.

Chief Judge Kerry O'Brien said doctors had identified aspiration pneumonia as one of the causes of her death.

"It is not suggested … that you deliberately or intentionally set out to cause harm to Jade … but her need for nutrition and treatment was far greater than other children," he said.

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When Ellen’s father retired and applied for Social Security retirement benefits, he indicated that he had a child who had become disabled before she was 22 years old. Her parents are relieved to have a more secure future in place for their daughter with a modest monthly check and Medicare benefits.

"You must have been aware of that need and, as a father and primary carer, your failure to provide adequate treatment and nutrition represents a gross failing of your responsibilities."

The court heard Jade had cerebral palsy, recurrent aspiration pneumonia and epilepsy, and had been "essentially immobile, unable to speak, and was fed through a tube in her stomach".

Chief Judge O'Brien said Smith began feeding his daughter incorrectly after the family moved to Queensland, when he bought pharmacy toddler formula, which was not nutritionally adequate for her needs.

He said when the family lived in New South Wales, Jade had received regular medical care, including "specialised nutritionally complete feeding formula" prescribed by dieticians.

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" Underfeeding " redirects here. For the concept in metalworking, see Underfeeder. Marasmus (‘to waste away’) is caused by an inadequate intake of protein and energy. The most visible and severe effects— disabling goiters, cretinism and dwarfism—affect a tiny minority, usually in mountain villages.

A forensic pathologist believed Jade's severely malnourished state would have made her more vulnerable.

Father 'a man of limited education' says Chief Judge

In sentencing him, Chief Judge O'Brien said Smith was "a man of limited education" and that a psychologist thought he probably had a mild mental disorder, as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety.

"One of the concerning features of this case is trying to identify an explanation for your offending," he said.

"I consider it likely that … you simply struggled to provide Jade with proper care after your partner left you and returned to Sydney.

"I cannot sentence you on the basis that you are criminally responsible for Jade's death, but I accept that your offending played a role in the significant deterioration of her health."

He also said he took into account Smith's remorse.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison, with parole eligibility after serving 14 months.

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