A Queensland mother has been sentenced to nine years jail over the manslaughter of her 22-month-old son. Mason Jet Lee died days after his mother’s partner, William Andrew O’S…
A Queensland mother has been sentenced to nine years jail over the manslaughter of her 22-month-old son. Mason Jet Lee died days after his mother’s partner, William Andrew O’Sullivan, struck the toddler and caused his intestines to rupture in June, 2016. Anne Maree Lee has admitted she did not get her son the medical treatment prosecutors claim could have saved his life. Lee’s partner, O’Sullivan, was also sentenced to nine years in jail over the boy’s death in 2016. With prison time already served, the boy’s mother will be eligible for parole on July 19 this year.
A Queensland mum convicted of killing her son by neglecting to help him after he was punched by her boyfriend has been granted parole.
Anne Maree Lee was sentenced to nine years in jail in 2019, three years after the death of her son Mason Lee.
She was released last week, more than two years after she became eligible for parole, and after Queensland’s parole board decided she posed an acceptable risk to the community.
Mason was two months shy of his second birthday when his stepfather, William O’Sullivan, punched him so hard in the stomach it ruptured his intestine.
In its decision the parole board described the harrowing days of inaction that followed.
It said the blow to the abdomen caused inflammation and blood poisoning, symptoms which the boy would have survived if he had received medical treatment.
“However, there was no treatment,” the board wrote.
“The medical signs showed that Mason lay untreated for four or five days after being punched. He suffered until he died.
“Within hours of being hit he was vomiting. He became dehydrated. He was in pain. The peritonitis caused a fever.
“It should have been obvious to any adult observer that Mason was in urgent need of medical attention. After a time, Mason descended into a state of shock. His organs began to fail and he lost consciousness and, finally, he died.”
The parole board took Ms Lee’s own abusive upbringing into account in making its decision to allow her release.
It said her relationship with O’Sullivan followed a pattern of abusive she had been subjected to by previous partners, and that she made “ineffectual attempts” to protect her children from his violence.
“He was frequently violent towards her. She made some ineffectual attempts to protect her young children from O’Sullivan’s violence but she always submitted to his will in the end,” the board wrote.
“Her delegation of Mason’s care to O’Sullivan was consistent with her subordination of herself, her rights, her interests and her opinions to a dominant and violent man.
“She knew that O’Sullivan was a heavy user of methylamphetamine and that he was given to paranoia and to violent rages against her and against her young children. Nevertheless, she let O’Sullivan keep Mason in his house.
“In the days after Mason was fatally injured the respondent must have known that he was gravely ill but she did nothing.”
The board wrote that Ms Lee’s circumstances as a victim of O’Sullivan’s violence and her own upbringing should “operate heavily in mitigation of her moral culpability for Mason’s death”.
“A severe head sentence was warranted in this case but an early parole eligibility date was appropriate to give effect to Lee’s personal circumstances as well as to her early plea and her true remorse, a remorse which is really the permanent burden she will bear because she caused her son’s death,” the board wrote.