THE man convicted of the manslaughter of an 11-month-old baby girl has been jailed for a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years.
Brendon Toohey, 38, was convicted of the baby’s manslaughter in July this year and on Friday, in a sitting of the Supreme Court in Bathurst, was sentenced to jail for seven-and-a-half years, with a non-parole period of four years, six months.
Toohey, who has been in custody since his arrest in April 2014, will be eligible for parole on October 8, 2018.
He maintains the baby girl in his care died after falling off a trampoline.
On the morning of April 2, 2014, Toohey told police he rushed the baby to hospital after she fell while he was taking clothes off the washing line.
He told police she had fallen off a trampoline in the backyard of her Mandurama home and had hit her head on the lid of a concrete septic tank.
Despite attempts to revive her at Blayney hospital, the girl was pronounced dead soon after.
Following a Supreme Court trial held in Bathurst earlier this year, Toohey was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the child’s manslaughter.
During Friday’s sentencing, before Justice Desmond Fagan, the victim’s father and paternal grandmother gave victim impact statements to the court outlining the effect her death had on them and her extended family.
In a written letter read out to the court, the victim’s father told how he had to ring around to find out where his daughter’s body was, and how the offender was assisting with funeral arrangements.
He said he “had my suspicions” and then Toohey was charged the day before the funeral.
The victim’s father also said he suffered stress and anxiety about the offender walking free, “or not getting what he deserved”.
The victim’s paternal grandmother told how she was unable to go down to the supermarket.
“I couldn’t bear the look on people’s faces – the look of being the grandmother of that little girl,” she said.