A seven-year-old boy whose body looked like he’d been “run over by a truck” when he died after prolonged abuse was only allowed a bare minimum of food under a strict discipline plan, a Sydney court has heard.
His 27-year-old mother, who has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a string of other charges, including assault and production of child abuse material, cried throughout her sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
Videos played in the Supreme Court show the mother, who cannot be named, explaining his “discipline plan” in the months before his death in May 2013.
“(He) is on an eating plan, he gets bare minimum,” she tells the camera.
“He gets excluded from any special treats.”
Another recording revealed siblings were encouraged to hit the boy.
In court the little boy’s paternal grandmother lashed out at her, saying, “we can’t wait for your sentence and hope you get what you deserve”.
“It sickens us all what you, as a mother, have done,” she said.
The woman’s father was also tearful when he spoke of his grandson as “a beautiful little soul” who had a cheeky grin and loved cars.
He said he saw the little boy’s body after his death.
“He looked like he’d been run over by a truck,” the grandfather told the court.
“I cannot understand how this could happen.”
Documents previously tendered show the woman called triple zero on May 21 2013 and said “my son was playing on a pogo stick … he fell over, and I think he banged his head”.
When emergency services arrived, the boy was in rigor mortis and an autopsy found he had died from swelling on the brain caused by a large haemorrhage.
The mother later admitted the pogo stick story was false.
The grandmother said she was immediately suspicious when told the boy had fallen.
She said he would always be a “special angel”.
The woman’s boyfriend, a music producer who also cannot be named, is due to face trial in October charged with murder.
The sentencing hearing continues.