In Broome, Western Australia, after beating his mother senseless, Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell took her 10 month old baby boy and assaulted him over a 15 hour period. The baby was bashed, tortured, raped, and burnt.
At his trial, the baby's mother, Tamica Anne Mullaley told the court that she went with Bell to his cousin's house where they were all drinking. An argument broke out and she left for a friend's house three doors down. When she returned a short time later, the group was still arguing and as she started walking back towards her friend's house, Bell hit her from behind.
He ripped her clothes off and bashed her as she lay naked in the street, then got into a car and tried to run her over before a neighbour arrived to stop him. She was taken to hospital with a ruptured spleen and kidneys, a fractured collarbone and broken ribs.
While she was in hospital, her father tried to collect the baby from a friend's house and when he arrived at the hospital to see her the next morning, he told her the baby was missing. Not long after, police arrived and told her the baby was found and taken to Karratha Hospital but died from his injuries.
Bell received a life sentence for the murder and five years for the assault on Mullaley but killed himself in his cell in September.
Yesterday the baby's mother Mullaley faced court for kicking and spitting at police but received a suspended sentence from Magistrate Stephen Sharratt.
"What happened to her made a great deal of difference to the way she reacted to police. Those wounds would have killed her without medical intervention" he said. "She's gone understandably awry... spent months in hospital....I just can't jail her for what she's gone through. If ever there was a time for a court to be merciful, it's this matter today."