Mother who killed toddler for looking like his father, jailed for 33-years

09:49 (GMT+2) Thu, 12 Oct 2017

An Australian mother, who killed her three-year-old son “because he looked like his father,” was Thursday sentenced to at least 33 years in jail.

The mother and her partner – the boy’s stepfather – were found guilty of murdering the toddler after almost two months of abuse in August 2014. Her partner was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

“This was a terrible crime of child murder,” New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Peter Johnson said during the sentencing.

The mother, 43, had claimed that the boy, identified only as Joseph, died after tripping over a rope tied to the family dogs.

She told police the boy “just pushed my buttons too many times” and “I had so many thoughts about killing Joey.”

“Don’t get me wrong I did love that boy… But there was a part of me that hated him because he looked like his father – because he’s his father’s child,” she said, according to records heard by the court.

“Rather than nurturing her son, (the mother) punished him as if he was in some way responsible for the sins of his (biological) father.

This was a grotesque and cruel feature of her conduct towards her son,” the judge said during the sentencing on Thursday.

Joseph was extensively tortured in the weeks before he died, the court heard. His mother slammed his head in a cupboard and his eyes had been covered by duct tape.

The judge said Joseph was “exceedingly vulnerable” and the couple had worn him down “physically and psychologically” with the assaults.

After the sentencing, Joseph’s uncle told reporters “the judge dished out the appropriate punishment.”

Sydney (dpa)