Dad and gran live through the pain

THE grandmother of an 11-month-old baby girl who died at the hands of her mother’s new partner says the family will never recover from her death.

The man convicted of the baby’s manslaughter, Brendon Toohey, was sentenced last week to a non-parole period of four years and six months, commencing on April 9, 2014 and expiring on October 8, 2018.

Toohey was originally charged with murder in April 2014 after the 11-month-old baby died from serious head injuries.

The 38-year-old maintained she fell from a trampoline at her Mandurama home and hit her head on the lid of a concrete septic tank.

In July, Toohey was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

The grandmother, who cannot be named, said at Toohey’s sentencing that there would never be justice for her granddaughter.

“It doesn’t matter what sentence they give, it won’t bring her back,” she said.

Asked if she felt there was justice for her granddaughter’s death, she said “no way”.

“We’ve lost a member of our family, and we all have to live with that.”

She described the victim as a gorgeous baby.

“She was absolutely beautiful, and I really think she left her mark.”

In her victim’s impact statement, the grandmother told how she had felt helpless since receiving the call about her granddaughter’s death.

She recalled how she helped introduce solids to the baby’s diet.

“I was very involved in her care and I find it hard to understand how she was taken away and died so soon.”

The grandmother said that she used to get upset when she saw babies who were around the same age as her granddaughter but, in her mind, her granddaughter continues to grow.

“Now I get upset when I see little girls the age she would be,” she said.

The girl’s father said he carries guilt that that he should not have let his daughter go.

“I had taken [her] away from the situation cause I was worried about her, and then she was taken off me. There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t see her and that was hard, then this happened.”

He also said Toohey had betrayed his trust.

“I thought he was trying to help, I thought she was safe.”

At the sentencing, the grandmother asked to thank everyone who had shown the family support.

“The officers who assisted in the investigation and the people who supported us in court have been wonderful,” she said.

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