Single father who malnourished his severely disabled four-year-old daughter until she died weighing only 8.75 kg is imprisoned
- Ronald Gary Smith, 42, failed to properly feed and care for his disabled daughter
- Post-mortem investigation revealed that four-year-old Jade was severely malnourished
- She only weighed 8.75 kg – almost half her body weight before she left NSW
- He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and was eligible for conditional release after 14 months
A single father who could not properly feed and care for his severely disabled daughter months before she died is not criminally responsible for her death, a judge in Brisbane says.
Ronald Gary Smith, 42, hoped that moving his family from Sydney to the warmth of Queensland would improve the health of four-year-old Jade.
But days after arriving in Brisbane in mid-2014, her mother fled the family and left Smith – a former furniture mover who did not go to high school – to look after their daughter alone.
It was the first in a series of events that ended when Jade died of acute aspiration pneumonia and other complications in June 2015, the Brisbane District Court heard on Thursday.
A post-mortem study found that Jade was severely malnourished and this had made her vulnerable to lung infection
She only weighed 8.75 kg – almost half her body weight before she left NSW.
A post-mortem study found that Jade was severely malnourished and this had made her vulnerable to lung infection.
But doctors did not attribute her death to the neglect she had suffered.
Judge Kerry J. O & Brien says that Smith & # 39; s limited education and slight intellectual disability have contributed to his failure to take care of his daughter adequately.
& # 39; Given those issues, you just had trouble giving Jade proper care after your partner left you and returned to Sydney, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; The essence of your insult is that you did not provide your daughter with sufficient food or medical treatment when you knew or should reasonably have known that such a failure would probably harm her. & # 39;
Judge O & Brien said that Smith's actions played an important role in the deterioration of Jade's health, but he could not condemn him for her death because he was accused of child cruelty.
& # 39; It is not suggested, or claimed, that you intentionally or intentionally harm Jade, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; If so, the charge would have been more serious. & # 39;
The court heard that Jade suffered from a number of serious conditions from birth, including brain abnormalities, cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and could not move or communicate
The court heard that Jade suffered from a number of serious conditions from birth, including brain abnormalities, cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and could not move or communicate.
She had to get a specially prepared diet with a tube feeding that had previously been coordinated by NSW Health.
But Smith failed to hand over her health care to Queensland specialists, despite the authorities in both states trying to arrange it, the court heard.
Instead, he fed her nutritional incomplete toddler formula, which he bought from a chemist, causing her to lose 7.23 kilograms of body weight.
Judge O & # 39; Brien sentenced him to three and a half years in prison, which after 14 months was eligible for conditional release.
Ronald Gary Smith, 42, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, eligible for conditional release after 14 months
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