Dad jailed for killing baby girl
A baker who murdered his six-month-old daughter by shaking her and throwing her onto the floor has been jailed in Western Australia for a minimum of 12 years.
Arron Colin Martin, 37, had been tag-teaming care of Isabella Sully Jean Martin with his wife Nicole Martin, a McDonald's manager, for less than two months in November 2017 when their only child died from injuries he inflicted after returning to their Brookdale house from an early morning shift.
He told his Supreme Court of Western Australia trial in March he "just snapped" because he was sleep-deprived and the baby, who showed signs of a cold and teething, wouldn't settle and kept crying.
The court heard he hurled the infant from a height of almost two metres and saw her head start to swell. She was still breathing, but he did not call for help.
Instead, he picked her up, put her in her cot and left the room.
He twice tried to end his own life at the house, sat in a park, then eventually turned himself in to police.
Paramedics rushed to the property and unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the infant.
The court heard Isabella suffered skull fractures and brain haemorrhaging and survived for two to five hours after the attack.
He told police he threw the baby to the ground but argued at trial he dropped her, explaining away his earlier comment as seeking to have "the book" thrown at him.
Justice Stephen Hall said the child's severe injuries required considerable force, and he did not accept she had been merely dropped.
Prior to the killing, Martin had appeared to have been a good husband and father, the judge said, and showed remorse immediately afterwards.
"This is a terribly tragic case," Justice Hall said.
"You momentarily lost control. There was no planning, forethought."
In the mother's victim impact statement, Ms Martin said her life was perfect when she left for work that day but it had been taken away hours later.
She often thought how different life would be if he'd simply called and asked her to come home, Justice Hall said.