A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the death of his four-year-old stepson laughed as he left court after being set free.
Matthew Scown, 34, grinned and laughed when questioned by reporters on Wednesday after the Supreme Court in Brisbane suspended his sentence.
Scown was sentenced to four years’ jail for the manslaughter of his stepson Tyrell Cobb, having already spent two years and eight months in custody.
Young Tyrell had 53 bruises and 17 abrasions from head to legs when he died, the court heard.
Hetty Johnston, founder of children’s charity Bravehearts, accused prosecutors of going soft on Scown to speed up the case, The Courier Mail reported.
She said offenders are ‘laughing’ after a series of cases in which child killers have had charges reduced, including a man who tortured his infant daughter to death.
‘They’re doing all these plea bargains just to move cases through … [it’s] expedition at the cost of these kids,’ she said.
‘I think if the DPP had the resources and the backbone they should have gone for him [Scown].’
Justice Martin Burns said Scown was not responsible for the injuries that killed Tyrell but failed in his duty of care.
Tyrell died in May 2009 from internal bleeding and stomach injuries caused by blunt force trauma.
While Scown did not cause the injuries he did not contact authorities or seek medical help, even when Tyrell was vomiting green bile the night before his death.
‘You ought to have acted,’ Justice Burns said.
‘From the time of injury until death every movement including breathing and vomiting would have caused extreme pain.’
Scown called Triple-0 in distress and performed CPR on the boy as paramedics made their way to the Gold Coast home where the pair were staying.
‘Looks like he’s going to die on me,’ Scown told a Triple 0 operator, the court heard.
When paramedics arrived Scown told them to hurry to the boy as he wasn’t breathing.
‘He’s turning blue,’ he said.
This, Justice Burns found, was evidence of Scown’s ‘extreme concern’ for Tyrell.
‘Clearly you were very worried about the little boy,’ he said.
Scone was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to lesser charge ahead of sentence on Wednesday.
‘The basis for your plea of guilty is an acceptance by you that you owed to Tyrell a duty of care, in particular to obtain medical assistance for him when you observed him to be so obviously and severely unwell,’ Justice Burns said.
‘Your failure to obtain medical assistance for him renders you criminally negligent for his death.’
Justice Burns stressed that Scown had not harmed Tyrell and did not have knowledge or suspicions of the attacks that caused his fatal injury.
During submissions, crown prosecutor Phil McCarthy said Scown had offered ‘considerable co-operation.’
A teenage boy who groomed his nine-year-old neighbour for months before violently raping him will not serve any time in jail time.
The 14-year-old from Perth was sentenced to a 12-month suspended imprisonment term and 60 days of community service on Wednesday in the Children’s Court of WA, according to The West Australian.
The boy, who 13 at the time of the attacks, was convicted last month of two charges of sexual penetration of a child under 13 and one count of indecent dealings.
Prosecutors told the court the teenager had befriended the nine-year-old in Perth’s northern suburbs and won the trust of his parents.
The pair were said to have played together nearly every day before the teen raped the boy and threatened to kill him if he told anyone, according to the West Australian.
Prosecutors told presiding Magistrate Stephen Vose the teen had ‘premeditated’ the ‘violent’ attack.
The second rape occurred after the nine-year-old was lured into bushes near his house.
The court was told the young boy had been ‘violated in the most abhorrent way’, according to the West Australian.
Despite prosecutors called for a jail sentence, Judge Vose said he chose to impose a suspended sentence because the teen’s age and uneasy childhood.
He will be placed on the state’s sex offender registry for seven-and-a-half years and is prohibited from being within 100metres of his victim.
A 27-year-old mother has opened up about her anguish after giving birth to her baby son at 36 weeks knowing he was going to be stillborn.
Brooke Campbell, from Brisbane, nearly died after she lost more than 1.7 litres of blood when she suffered a severe haemorrhage in the early hours of August 28.
But after she was taken to hospital, the young woman completely broke down when her obstetrician found baby Darcy no longer had a heartbeat.
Placental abruption means the placenta has detached from the wall of the uterus, either partly or totally. This can cause bleeding in the mother and may interfere with the baby’s supply of oxygen and nutrients.
The cause is unknown in most cases, but risk factors may include maternal high blood pressure, abdominal trauma and substance misuse.
Without prompt medical treatment, a severe case of placental abruption can have dire consequences for the mother and her unborn child, including death.
Credit: Better Health
‘I looked at the ultrasound screen and could see Darcy’s lifeless body just hanging there inside me,’ Ms Campbell told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There are no words but gut-wrenching and a vivid picture in my mind that I will never forget.
‘It was too late to do anything as he was already gone.’
The cause of her unborn son’s death was a haemorrhage caused by a placental abruption – which occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus.
‘The placenta just blew off from the uterus wall, causing Darcy to go into cardiac arrest. And he passed away due to no oxygen,’ she said.
‘I was in complete shock and I just didn’t believe it. But I knew while we were waiting for the ambulance at home with the amount of blood and clots I was losing and that I couldn’t feel him… something was very very wrong.’
Her husband Elliott, 34, was bringing their bags in from the ambulance when she told him about the tragic news.
‘I still remember the look on Elliot’s face when he walked into the room and I said: “Darcy is gone, he doesn’t have a heartbeat”,’ she recalled.
‘He just said “No you’re wrong, how does this happen”. He just dropped to the floor hysterically crying. He took it really badly. Three nurses helped him back to his feet.’
Darcy looked healthy and beautiful except he didn’t cry like a newborn… He just looked like he was asleep which shattered my heart into many pieces because I just wanted him to gasp and take his first breath
The distraught mother was transferred to a birth suite where she had to deliver her baby knowing he was going to be stillborn.
‘There are no words to describe the pain and heart break knowing he was going to be stillborn. Horrific and gut-wrenching won’t even cover it,’ Ms Campbell said.
‘We chose not to do an unnecessary caesarean section. We continued on with a vaginal birth as my first was also vaginal.
‘It was such a cruel thing I had to go through with the labour and delivery. Knowing Darcy would be gone when he came out it killed me so much but it had to be done.
‘I just burst into tears knowing what would be coming next. Three big pushes and he was out… 53 centimetres long and 3.3 kilograms just like his big brother.
‘Darcy looked healthy and beautiful except he didn’t cry like a newborn. He just looked like he was asleep which shattered my heart into many pieces because I just wanted him to gasp and take his first breath.’
The infant was stillborn, leaving his parents and his two-year-old brother with a few moments to build memories of him in candid photographs.
‘The hospital offered us as much time with Darcy as we wanted so we spent the whole of Monday and Tuesday with him,’ Ms Campbell said.
‘He even got to stay in our room with a bassinet which had a cooling system that was also provided but I’d refused to let him go.
‘I cuddled him on my chest all night with my arms wrapped around him. I woke up many times that night just to cuddle, kiss and silently cry, trying not to wake Elliot up.
Cradling the tiny boy in her arms for the final time, Ms Campbell was comforted by her husband as little Noah planted a tender kiss on his stillborn sibling.
‘He was wrapped and placed on my chest, it was a beautifully tragic time,’ she said.
‘I had such a rollercoaster of crazy emotions because it just wasn’t fair that he wasn’t alive… he was so healthy. He looked perfect and just like Noah which made it harder.
‘Noah was very gentle with him but was confused why the baby wasn’t moving. He’s still too young to understand but he kissed Darcy a lot when he met him in hospital.
‘I was holding Darcy so tightly and sobbing. My heart felt like it was shattered beyond repair.’
Her blood test found Ms Campbell had a rare clotting, genetic disorder called Factor V Leiden, which affects one in 20-25 people.
‘If this test was to become mandatory during pregnancy for all women, then I would not have lost my healthy beautiful son,’ she said.
‘The test informs you if you have Factor V Leiden – and then you can have injections throughout pregnancy to prevent suffering a placental abruption.’
‘Women just need to have the option there to get tested for this disorder otherwise they may hold the gene and be risking the life of their unborn baby, themselves and future grandchildren.’
By sharing her story, Ms Campbell said she wanted to raise awareness about the dangers and the possibility that people, including pregnant women and men, could be carrying the genetic disorder without knowing.
‘The pain and suffering we endured through the past six weeks are just horrendous and no parent should ever have to ever bury their healthy child,’ she said.
‘I don’t want people to risk their own lives or the lives of their unborn children so I just want to get the message across this disorder does exist,’ she said.
‘It’s common and no one even really knows about it until its too late. We didn’t even know what it was until we got the results back after Darcy had passed away.’
For other women who have suffered a stillbirth, Ms Campbell said: ‘You don’t have to be strong but get the support you need.
‘Talk to friends and family about your loss. Keeping it bottled up inside will just make it worse,’ she said.
‘I didn’t leave the house for a few weeks after because I was too much of an emotional wreck talking about what happened so I waited until I thought I could.
‘I would be totally put off if Darcy was our first child but we are lucky to already have our son Noah to distract us and get us up each morning.
‘I am keeping positive by telling myself: “I will have another baby or two in the future and I will get my rainbow baby”.
‘I know Darcy would want me to be happy – and for me to grieve is to get pregnant again sooner rather than later.’
The family’s photographer Natasha Thaelser has vowed to double donations to little Darcy’s legacy on the Bears of Hope campaign.
To make a donation, please visit Art for Darcy.
Things we are afraid to tell anybody. People will judge you, especially if your secret is messed up.
That is why we have the Internet. To post our secrets anonymously, facing no criticism and getting it off our chests as well. A Reddit thread revealed people sharing their darkest secrets, which could potentially ruin their lives. Read them below:
“Years ago my gf (we’ll call deb) and I were out with her friend (we’ll call Sara). This one day Sara had to pin unlock her phone each time to take one of many pictures….out the corner of my eye I saw her pin. I saved it in a note. Months later sara and deb were at my place and went to the pool. Sara left her phone indoors. I used her password and hit jackpot. Nudes, videos, message logs with some guy she was talking (well call jeff) to, along with tons of dick picks and videos of him jacking off…
With this goldmine of pics and vids I concocted a slow plan…..very slow. Slowly I broke off with deb but kept in touch with sara. I then created a alter ego online (we’ll call it Vanessa). For months I worked this identity so it looked real. This identity started following Sara on all social media (Sara accepted any friend requests). Vanessa blackmailed jeff. Jeff was given 2 days to stop talking to sara or his dick picks got leaked. He was chicken sh*t and dropped her like a hot potato. But Sara was strong willed…when Vanessa threatened sara to stop talking to jeff or her pics get leaked she protested…so I knew I had to change tactics. Vanessa disappeared for a while until I could get Sara’s phone in my hands for a bit. One day sara was over and ‘lost’ her phone at my place. I ‘found’ it for her the next day…. Not before I installed a spy app that let me keep track of her everything. A few weeks later Vanessa came back but now armed with the conversations sara was having with everyone. While tracking Sara’s reactions and suspicions, I made it show that Vanessa wasnt real….
Now all my friends know me as being pretty tech literate. One day im talking with Sara and she breaks down crying telling me how she been long distance sexting this guy and somebody hacked his or her phone and now shes being blackmailed by some stranger she doesn’t know. So she askes me if I could help her. Long ending short I made it look like jeff was Vanessa. I made it look like he created this person so that he could blackmail Sara into f*cked up sex stuff. Sara left him and guess who was the hero? Me. I caught ‘Vanessa.’ Sara was now safe because of me. Once we blackmailed the guy, ‘Vanessa’ disappeared… You know…for realism. Sara and I now had this tragedy…this hurdle that we overcame together. We started dating not long after. She was never going back to long distance relationships and wanted to try local….4 years later were married.”
“My father never had anything other than boys, and my mother always wanted a girl. Try as they might, they just had tons of boys. When I was 6 they adopted a girl of also 6. Everyone was pleased, and she was quickly included into the family by everyone and we all took an immediate shine to her. Especially me.
We started playing ‘doctor’ at 9. This progressed to fooling around by our early teens, and into actual sex shortly thereafter. We’re both over 30 now. We have sex whenever we see each other. We also like to pretend we are twins when we do have sex. We’ve both had our shares of girlfriends and boyfriends, but we always kept it up even while in those relationships. She’s actually married now.
We still have sex about 2 times a month, more when the family gets together for holidays. I can’t even imagine the bricks that would be sh*t if anyone ever found out. It’s been close a few times, especially when we were younger, but nobody’s ever caught on.
“Client is an elderly gentleman, some type of retired professional. His son is a pastor. Everything about his situation seemed very normal in terms of income, property, etc. However, it turns out he had a pretty serious porn hobby and he was concerned his wife might find out and use it against him in the divorce. However, as I mentioned above, I assured him that was pretty run-of-the-mill these days and unlikely to affect anything. He then asks if I feel the same knowing the porn is not ‘mainstream.’ I asked what he means and he looks very nervous. I wanted to make sure he wasn’t referencing CP, so I pushed him on it.
The guy was into goats.”
“My friend inherited a beautiful diamond engagement ring. The stone was worth $20K. His fiance was thrilled to receive it and flaunt it. Now his wife of 25 years, it’s still one of her most precious possessions.
Only I (and you 4 million) know that she does not own the original diamond. My friend sold the stone for $15K and an equal sized, substitute diamond on the day he picked it up from being sized to fit her…
The value of the ring was learned at appraisal, and was actually appraised a bit higher. The $20K was the number he knew he could get from a wholesaler in the district. It is still insured for the higher amount. The stone that was substituted is a diamond – and I couldn’t tell the difference. The money was mostly used to clear debts.”
“I’m an atheist. I’m also a deacon in an evangelical church. I’m not exactly proud of it but I try do my part to convince people to live like Jesus because even if he wasn’t god, he certainly had some good ideas about loving other people.
The problem for me is my family. I’m married with a one kid and another on the way. I believe that such a revelation would be devastating for my wife. I’ve tried to tell her in subtle ways but I can’t bring myself to just come out and say the truth. I love my wife and I don’t wish to harm her emotionally in that way.”
“I am a gay man married to a woman who has no idea I am gay.
How is my life? It’s great. It’s pleasant. I have two beautiful children who I love more than anything. I have a successful job and a lovely home. My wife is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. So that is my life.
Myself, however, the way I feel inside is not so good. I feel disgusted with who I am. Growing up in a Catholic household had me living in fear of being banished by my family for revealing my sexuality. That’s not something I’m afraid will happen, that is something that is a well known fact in my family. I would love more than anything to be honest to everyone. I am a coward though…
As ridiculous as it sounds I thought that getting married and settling down etc would make these feelings I had about being gay go away. Before meeting her I was constantly struggling with the fact that I might be gay. My upbringing made me believe that being gay was wrong and so I always tried to convince myself that that’s not who I was. For awhile it worked. I think I wanted so bad to be straight that I just made myself believe I was. I got married to my wife at 23 and for a short time after our wedding I was relieved. I thought ‘Yes, I knew it. I knew I just had to find someone who would clear all this up for me!’ That just came crashing down. We started having sex more to try and get pregnant and that caused me realise [sic] that I am a gay man. I’m not remaining in the closet because I’m too scared of my wife’s reaction. In fact she would probably be the most forgiving. I have decided not to come out because of my family. I’m not exaggerating when I say that they will disown me. They wouldn’t think twice about it. I wouldn’t be happy. I would be lost. Now that I have children that just scares me even more. I wouldn’t ser [sic] them much at all and that’s not an option for me… There are many things I wish I had done differently but I do not regret any of my choices because they’ve all led me to where I am today. My son and daughter are these amazing little people. I live in a great house with a loving and sweet little family. Our marriage (sham marriage as some people have pointed out) is a good one despite my sexuality. Our marriage is healthier than some that I know about and hear about. I have accepted that I may never come out and I’ve learnt to be okay with that. I will consider going to therapy too. This is the most I have ever talked about it. Up until now I have not told a soul and so I have really swept everything under the rug. It is amazing what you can block out if you really try.”
“I once helped out my a female friend’s family by taking care of their cat for a week. Every day for a week, I would go over there and snoop around their house. I found my friend’s diary, and proceeded to read the entire thing. I used this information to get her to like me, and she is currently my wife.”
“I have lesbian sex with my best friend about once a month. Neither of us say anything to our husbands. We drink a good bottle of wine, get tipsy, get nasty, and fall asleep. When we wake up, we laugh, kiss, and go about our lives.”
“No ones going to probably find this comment, but I have an addiction to prostitutes. I can’t control myself. I’m also married and my wife has no idea. I spent $2000 on our credit card while she was overseas for 3 weeks. I lied and told her that I had a gambling problem, that’s why I spent so much. Little does she know, I was bringing hookers home.”
“I’m a guy with a foot fetish. And I -never- told my wife even though she has amazing feet. BUT it gets worse – I have a weird twist to my foot fetish. I’m really into ‘pedal pumping’ (i guess that’s the closest way to describe it) and I’m mortified to tell her or anyone else, and never have. When I was a little kid we spent a LOT of time at church during the week for mom’s choir practice and there was a decent looking piano player lady who would kick off her shoes and play the piano barefoot. And even though I knew nothing of my sexuality, I remember Saturday afternoons, being up on the stage/pulpit during boring choir practice, laying on the carpet, playing with Matchbox cars and trying not to make it seem glaringly obvious that I was transfixed watching this lady’s bare foot pushing on that piano pedal…
I was totally transfixed, and it continues to this day. Women playing pianos, organs, driving barefoot, using a sewing machine barefoot. My fantasies usually always involve me imagining myself as the pedal, and the woman has a sexy bare, nylon, or sock clad foot. If it’s a smelly foot even better. I feel guilty and stupid to this day. Why on earth would a fetish like that develop when I was a prepubescent kid?”
“When i was in 8th grade i fell in love with my girlfriend. I never thought it would be possible for someone so young could have such strong feelings. The relationship didn’t last more than three months because my mom and step-dad divorced and i had to move. I thought about her every day since i moved away. I met another person and have been married for 20 years now. I have four kids and have no complaints about my wife. Five years ago through social media i was able to correspond with 8th grade girlfriend. It turns out that she still has feelings for me too. I have been faithful to my wife for our entire marriage but want more than anything to be with my first love.”