Timothy Leonard Gordon Farmer, a 31 year old man from Australia has been sentenced to 10 years in jail after he was found guilty of bashing a 3 year old baby boy, Mason James Coughlan, to death in 2006.
The supreme court judge described injuries to the child as “almost beyond belief”.
Farmer who has a relationship with child’s mother, beat Mason over a two-week period using tree branches, garden hoses and thongs inflicting injuries so severe they had filled seven pages of a pathologist’s report.
According to judge justice Heenan:
It was one of the worst cases of child cruelty to come before the courts. The events which led to Mason’s death present an agonising picture of violence, cruelty and insensitivity towards a young, helpless, terrified child.
Farmer would beat Mason ostensibly for correction or discipline. On the night the child died, he used a section of hose to beat the screaming boy after he had wet his pants. Mason’s mother said said had heard noises coming from the bathroom as though Mason’s head was hitting the wall or the shower screen.
The child died in Albany Hospital at about 10.30pm on October 30, 2006.
The post mortem report makes extraordinarily grim reading as there was almost no part of the child’s body which did not show extreme bruising and multiple abrasions. More extensive post mortems investigation of the internal organs and tissues showed even more serious effects.
Sentencing Farmer, Justice Heenan said:
It is almost beyond belief that such a young child had been subjected to such trauma. His 10-year sentence is the maximum available after truth in sentencing provisions and his guilty plea were taken into account.
Farmer came from a poor family and his father had died at 40 in distressing and abject circumstances. He had overdosed on drugs at 11 and had numerous convictions dating back to 1985.
The child’s family says the sentence was too lenient but they can do nothing about it.
Farmer’s mother says the sentence is too severe because she is his mother and even a sentence of 1 year would be too much for her.