Dad ‘simply forgot' his baby

A ROCKHAMPTON dad “simply forgot” he had left his nine-month-old baby girl in the car and she died.

As the 38-year-old sat in a court dock yesterday, charged with manslaughter, he was clearly distressed as he wiped tears from his cheeks.

On Wednesday the girl’s body was found in a car when police and emergency services were called to the Norman Gardens home just after 2pm.

Yesterday Magistrate Cameron Press allowed members of the media into the court for the interest of the public, but ordered they, under law, not report the man’s name or any details that may identify him for the protection of the juvenile victim.

The man’s mother and another family member were present in the court room to support him.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Ongheen said the father admitted to police, neighbours, his ex de facto and his mother that he had simply forgotten.

Sergeant Ongheen objected to bail for the man’s own welfare, saying he was suicidal.

Police were also concerned the man wouldn’t re-appear in court if he was let out on bail.

The man’s duty lawyer, Paul Wonnocott, said his client denied being suicidal and was stressed over the death of his child.

Mr Wonnocott told the court when the father realised he had left his daughter in the car, he ran across to neighbours, telling them his child was dead.

“On the face it’s a case of a forgetful father,” Mr Wonnocott said.

He said the man still had his two-year-old son to think about and wouldn’t do anything to himself to jeopardise this.

Mr Wonnocott said the man co-operated with police after the incident.

He said the man’s only criminal history was a series of theft charges, the possession of a controlled weapon (fishing knife) and a drug-related charge when he was living interstate.

He was placed on a community-based order under full supervision.

Mr Press granted him bail on the grounds that he lives with his parents at their home in another city, south of Rockhampton.

“I don’t accept he’s at high risk or will fail to appear,” Mr Press said.

The accused wasn’t required to enter a plea to the charge.

His next court appearance is scheduled for July 28.



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