How a caregiver’s “last act of kindness” toward a 10-year-old boy who choked on a sandwich led to him becoming PRISON – although he had nothing to do with his death
- Curtis Powell died after struggling to swallow a bite of sandwich in July 2015
- His career, James Colin Burnham, wiped blood and embraced the child
- The 10-year-old aunt, Jodie Maree Powell, forced him to eat sandwich quickly
- Burnham pleaded guilty as an accomplice after the manslaughter of Curtis
The ‘last act of kindness’ of a caregiver towards a 10-year-old boy after he was smothered to death on a sandwich has led him to three years in prison.
James Colin Burnham found his partner who tried to resuscitate Curtis Powell – a 10-year-old boy under their care – in July 2015.
The boy’s aunt, Jodie Maree Powell, tried to get the food out of his mouth, but Curtis lost consciousness and was unable to breathe new life into him.
The boy died after he had trouble swallowing a bite of sandwich, he was forced to eat quickly by his aunt.
James Colin Burnham found his partner who tried to resuscitate the 10-year-old boy under their care
Curtis Powell died after he had trouble swallowing a bite of sandwich, he had to eat quickly
Curtis was bleeding from the mouth when Burnham saw the commotion.
He screamed, but soon realized that the boy was dead.
In a “last act of kindness,” Burnham wiped blood away from the boy’s mouth and gave him a final hug.
On behalf of Powell, Burnham then left their home in the southern suburb of Mackenzie, Brisbane.
Relatives who received unusual messages from Powell were later called paramedics.
Rigor mortis had begun by the time they arrived.
The official cause of Curtis’ death on July 19, 2015 was bronchopneumonia, but more than 200 injuries to his body were found during autopsy.
Many injuries were the result of years of abuse by Powell.
Curtis was hit with a meat fork and a knife thrown at his leg and his head was hit against a wall.
Some injuries were due to his problems with spatial insight, which often caused him to fall.
It was because of the injuries that Powell did not receive medical help when Curtis stopped breathing.
Burnham was not responsible for the damage that Curtis suffered.
The boy’s aunt, Jodie Maree Powell, tried to get the food out of his mouth, but Curtis lost consciousness and was unable to breathe new life into him
He gave him food, clothes, and a bath when Powell was not at home, because she screamed when he cared for her in her presence.
Curtis has lived with the couple since he was three – whom he called mom and dad – because his mother had drugs.
Burnham was also abused by Powell, who was eight years older than he and the “dominant force” in their “destructive” 15-year relationship.
Yet he erased evidence when he realized that Curtis was dead and lied to officers investigating death.
After he was found guilty of complicity following the manslaughter of Curtis, Burnham was sentenced to three years in prison in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday, with the time limit to be suspended after seven months.
Powell was imprisoned for nine years in August and is eligible for conditional release in June.