A MOTHER has admitted in court that she watched an ex-partner punch her 18-month-old baby in the face 10 times, but she did not take the child to hospital.
The Maryborough District Court heard the woman, 21, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been involved in an abusive relationship and was afraid to intervene in the abuse of her child because she feared she would "get a flogging" if she tried to stop her ex-partner.
Her partner, who was sentenced to three years in jail for his actions, punched the baby in the face 10 times "quite quickly and quite hard" before throwing him in his cot, the court heard.
He then blew smoke from the marijuana joint he was smoking in the child's face.
When the child eventually received medical treatment at Maryborough Hospital, bruising was noted on the child's temple, cheek, near his eye and on his nose along with a mark on his jaw line, swelling on his forehead, bruises on his thighs and an abrasion on his elbow.
The boy suffered no internal injuries as a result of the attack.
The baby was transferred to Hervey Bay Hospital and police were called in relation to the child's injuries.
The mother told police he had fallen in the bath.
When she was told the injuries were inconsistent with falling in the bath, she named a mutual friend of herself and her partner's as the person who had harmed her baby.
Two days later she told the police the information was wrong and named her partner as the person who had inflicted the injuries on the child.
The woman was charged with failing to supply the necessities in relation to not taking the child to hospital straight away and with obstructing justice because she lied to the police about how the injuries had happened.
The court heard the woman had had a difficult upbringing, having a conflicted relationship with her mother and leaving home when she was 14.
She had met her father only once.
In her last year at school she fell pregnant with the child and the father of the child had provided no support to her, the court heard.
Custody of the child had been removed from her but she still had supervised visitation rights every Thursday.
Her defence counsel described her decision to implicate an innocent person of being guilty for the crimes as "childish" and said it had only taken two days for her to set the record straight.
Judge Brian Devereaux said he took the women's early guilty plea as a demonstration of sorrow and remorse and an acceptance of responsibility.
"You failed to look after your child in a criminal way," he said.
"The photographs that are before the court are appalling."
He said he would take into account the fact that she was very young and under the influence of someone who was "very violent".
He said her statements to the police had also put an innocent person in jeopardy when she lied about who had committed the offence.
The judge placed the woman on probation period of 18 months with a series of condition, including reporting to police regularly and taking part in counselling sessions.
He also gave her a suspended 12-month jail sentence for obstructing the course of justice.
He said she must not commit an offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or it was likely she would serve time in jail.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.