Baby death: Mother fined for ‘unrestrained children’
THE mother of a nine-month-old girl found dead on a Gold Coast beach has been fined for travelling in a van with her two children unrestrained.
The 23-year-old did not appear in court today for the offences, which happened on November 1 between Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.
The young mother was fined $1000 for sitting in the back of a van with her two children, while her partner drove down the M1 without an licence.
The same partner has been charged with the murder of the couple's nine-month-old baby girl. Police allege he threw the baby into the Tweed River on Saturday, November 17.
Her body washed up on Surfers Paradise beach at 12.34am two days later.
Yesterday, police divers searched the Tweed River for a red and black chequered blanket that was believed to be owned by the family, but found nothing.
Chief Detective Inspector Wayne Walpole did not rule out charging the 23-year-old mother in relation to the child's death, saying the investigations were ongoing.
The two charges she faced in Tweed Heads Local Court today were: employ driver never licensed and travel in part of vehicle not for passengers.
Court documents reveal the mother, her baby and toddler son, were sitting on a bed in the back of a black Ford van, while the father drove.
"Patrolling police could see that (the mother) and a young child who were in the rear of the vehicle not seated in car seats and not wearing seatbelts," the police statement read.
"The (mother) was spoken to about (the father) driving her vehicle without a licence.
"(She) made full admissions to knowing (he) does not and has never held a licence.
"She allowed (him) to drive the vehicle because 'he is better at driving manual'.
"The black van had a front bench seat with enough room for three people.
"The (mother) was sitting on the bed with her two children aged eight months and 1.5 years old," the statement read.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy fined the woman $400 for allowing her partner to drive her van without a licence and $600 for sitting on the bed with her children, while the car was being driven.