Did Lacey Spears kill her own son?

Shocking death ... an image of Lacey and Garnett-Paul she posted on Facebook.

Image Source/Credit: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/world/trial-of-lacey-spears-accused-of-killing-son-garnett-paul-with-salt-underway-in-new-york/story-fnihsmjt-1227198220212

The trial has begun in New York after mother ‘Lacey Spears’ was accused of killing her five year old son, Garnett-Paul with salt over a year ago.

The murder case alleges that Ms Spears purposely poisoned her son with salt and document his decline in health on social media.

The prosecutor has said that the mother was feeding her child with toxic amounts of salt, causing his sodium levels to increase to dangerous levels. This resulted in Garnett- Paul’s brain to swell, cause seizures and then death.

The charge against Lacey allege Garnett was killed “under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life” rather than with intent.

It carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.

Death of 3 year old boy

Child AbuseLast month a toddler was found unconscious in a home in Oberon. The 3 year old boy suffered abuse which included being kept in an esky filled with ice. Other reports state that the man allegedly taped a ball in the boy’s mouth, kicked and hit him with a wooden spoon.

The boy lived with his grandmother from birth until they moved to Oberon in June 2014. It is expected that this is when the abuse started.

The court has heard from The Westmead Children’s Hospital that the injuries that the child sustained were to his head and face, also bleeding in the eyes and bruising to the lower back.

The 45-year-old man has appeared at Bathurst Local Court charged with manslaughter and recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.

If you know of anyone suffering from abuse, please contact our Family Law Department 1300 STOLAW or visit our website www.stolaw.com.au

Father told by child protection worker “we were overreacting” when he called about sex abuse of his daughter

A father, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, contacted Families SA when he found out his daughter was being abused by her stepbrother. He was told an investigation would start within a fortnight after his call, however nothing began for six weeks.

When the investigation did occur in late 2012, one Families SA worker told him “we were overreacting. She told my wife that we had been coaching my daughter just to get back at my former wife,’’ he said. “… in her opinion, nothing sexual had occurred and the case was closed.’’

In the initial investigation, his daughter was never interviewed about the disclosures and he said it was a complete “joke”.

The father called the abuse hotline and made another report, in hope that it would reopen the case and prompt a fresh investigation. During this time, his former wife received a confession from her stepson about the abuse. Due to the father’s persistence, the investigation was reopened and his daughter was interviewed by a trained psychologist, under police supervision.

“The police and child protection were of the opinion there was no doubt whatsoever she was telling the truth. This is what Families SA should have been doing from day one,’’ he said.

A teenage boy was charged with seven counts of sexually abusing his stepsister however, the case has since been adjudicated and has been directed to the family conference process.

Jennifer Rankine Minister for Education and Child Development has apologised to the Adelaide father, and the Families SA workers have been disciplined for their early roles in the investigation.

(Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/child-development-minister-jennifer-rankine-apologised-to-adelaide-dad-after-families-sa-bungled-investigation-into-sexual-abuse-of-his-daughter/story-fnihsrk2-1227030390542).

If your family is experience any family concerns, please contact our Family Law Department today. 1300 STOLAW or www.stolaw.com.au

Domestic Violence Sufferer Tells Her Story

White Ribbon NightOn news.com.au yesterday, Rachel Kayrooz tells her story about the domestic violence she suffered from her ex-partner. Rachel and her ‘future boyfriend’ met while performing at a wedding. She was the singer and he was in the string quartet. She said she had a lot of great friends and was really enjoying her life and career as best she could.

However, from the first day she met him, he manipulated her which started out as emotional and psychological abuse and stalking. It wasn’t until later on that she found out he had a domestic violence order out against him, from a relationship breakup he’d just gone through.

He would stalk her male work colleges, call her fat and put her down all the time. She would cover up her bruises by wearing makeup and long-sleeved tops. He’d lock her up in the house and take the keys so she couldn’t go anywhere. She was a prisoner. Rachel had saved over $35,000 in which he also took from her.

Rachel fell pregnant and he wasn’t happy about it, and she thought he’d leave her. But instead, he said “let’s move in together.” The suburb they moved to was away from her friends and family. She was now four and a half months pregnant with no support around her.

Rachel tried to leave him on numerous occasions but was caught up in his psychological control. He would throw food against the wall when she’d go to make breakfast in the morning. She suffered from anorexia for years and was anorexia while pregnant. Her doctor told her to try and eat anything she could to put on weight.

Rachel was six and a half months pregnant when she was beaten by him and left in a cupboard to die. She thought about what would happen if her baby survived and she didn’t and who would look after the child.

She eventually moved into a rental property with her child but he still stalked her there and she had to relocate again. He would drive by and call her phone and have other women call her and abuse her as well.

Rachel now has a number of disabilities from the abuse including a lot of physical injuries and emotional trauma.

You can read more of Rachel’s story here http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/rachel-kayrooz-who-suffered-domestic-violence-talks-about-her-heartbreak-for-allison-badenclay-and-white-ribbon-night/story-fnixwvgh-1227000328570

Rachael is a supporter of White Ribbon Night, a fundraising event being held on July 25, 2014, for the White Ribbon foundation, Australia’s campaign to stop domestic violence against women.

To find out how you can get involved with the White Ribbon or to donate, visit http://www.whiteribbon.org.au.

How does family and domestic violence affect children?

Family and Domestic Violence and ChildrenChildren can be affected by family and domestic violence in different ways. Some may show or tell you about their concerns where as others may keep all their feelings inside. Make sure to listen and watch your children for any signs of physical or emotional health problems.

Signs that may present themselves among children that are being affected by family and domestic violence include:

  • copying the violence or abusive behaviour
  • difficulty sleeping including having nightmares
  • trying to stop the abuse
  • blaming themselves
  • being bullied by others or bullying others
  • cruelty to animals
  • nervousness or being withdrawn
  • changes in behaviour/performance at school
  • attempting self-harm
  • alcohol and substance abuse (in older children)
  • running away from home

Abusive Behaviours

Abusive BehavioursContinuing on from “What is Family Violence” post, the ‘Communities, Child Safety and Disabilities Services’ have provided the below list of abusive behavious that can occur in a domestic and family violence situations.

  • physical abuse (including slapping, hitting, punching, pushing, kicking)
  • threatening to hurt you, your children, pets, relatives, friends or work colleagues
  • threatening to disclose your sexual orientation to other people against your wishes
  • threatening to, or depriving you of your liberty (including locking you in the house so you can not go out)
  • stalking (including constantly following you by foot or car, constantly calling you by phone, text message and email, or staying outside your house or workplace). Stalking is a criminal offence in Queensland.
  • damaging property to frighten and intimidate you (including punching holes in walls, breaking furniture, harming pets)
  • emotional abuse (including criticising your personality, looks, the way you dress, saying you are a bad parent or threatening to hurt you, your children or your pets, or threatening to damage personal items you value)
  • verbal abuse (including yelling, shouting, name-calling and swearing at you)
  • sexual abuse (including forcing or pressuring you to have sex or participate in sexual acts)
  • financial abuse (including taking control of your money, not giving you enough money to survive on, forcing you to hand over your funds, not letting you decide how it is spent)
  • threatening to stop providing care for you if you don’t do what you are told (this sometimes happens to an elderly person or a person with an illness, disability or impairment who relies on another person to care for them)
  • social abuse (including controlling where you go, not letting you see or have contact with your friends or family)
  • depriving you of the necessities of life such as food, shelter and medical care
  • spiritual abuse (including forcing you to attend religious activities against your wishes or stopping you from participating in the religious or cultural practices of your choice)
  • threatening to commit suicide or self-harm to torment, intimidate or frighten you

(Source: Communities, Child Safety and Disabilities Services, http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/communityservices/violence-prevention/about-domestic-and-family-violence-prevention/what-is-domestic-and-family-violence).

If you need assistance regarding a family issue please contact our Family Law team today.

Online Gaming and Child Abuse

South Korean Online Gaming AddictiveThe online gaming industry in South Korea is becoming overly popular and addictive, to the point that a 22year old man was arrested for allegedly staving his 2 year old son to death.

Mr Chung was arrested after details of a two year old body was found, badly decomposed, in a rubbish bag near the city of Daegu.

The father of the boy spent most of his time at internet cafes and would go back home every two or three days to feed the boy. His wife had started working in a factory out of the city therefore, had left the unemployed husband to look after their child.

Mr Chung initially reported the child missing before confessing later that he had disposed of the body.

The police detective who has been working on the case has said that Mr Chung is likely to be charged with homicide and abandoning a body. (Source: news.com.au)

Read the full article on news.com.au.

If you need help with an addiction, there are many places that you can call with people that are willing to help, such as http://www.helplines.org.au/.

If you need assistance with a family situation, our Family Lawyers are here to helpvisit stolaw.com.au.


A Victim of Domestic Violence

A lady by the name of Jaquie Lait was a victim of domestic violence. She was in and out of hospital for months and months, sometimes returning only hours after being discharged with further injuries. When Jaquie was pregnant she was told by doctors that she had a 50% chance of surviving the birth of her child due to the prolonged physical abuse that has been sustained to her body. She didn’t want her child to be bought up without a mother. This is when Jaquie made the most important decision to remove herself from the abusive relationship.

Jaquie started a new life by moving to Toowoomba and after nine years of being out of the terrible situation, she found a love for fighting and now helps many others at the domestic violence wing of Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia.

Remember domestic abuse doesn’t always come in the form of physical abuse, it can also include:

  • Verbal – constant put-downs, name calling etc.
  • Sexual – any forced or unwanted sexual contact/activity etc.
  • Social – controlling where you go, who you see, geographically isolating you.
  • Financial – being refused/denied access to money etc.
  • Damage to property – kicking a hole in the wall, scratching your car etc.
  • Psychological – behaviour and/or comments to undermine your sense of self etc.
  • Spiritual/Cultural – not allowing you to practice your chosen religion or cultural beliefs.
  • Stalking – worrying or frightening you by watching, phoning or following you. Stalking is a crime.

If you have been or are the victim of domestic abuse, contact us for assistance today. We have a professional team who are here to help you.

(Source: Sunshine Coast Daily 2014, http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au)