Father Boils 2-Year-Old Tot To Death In Scalding Water After She Soils Her Diaper, Mother Helps Cover For Him
Published in Feb 2021 / Updated in Aug 2021
Two parents will be spending years in jail for failing to help their 2-year-old daughter get medical help after she suffered severe life-threatening burns while under their care. The girl died of second-degree burns after her father scalded her with hot water.
The sentence was made during a hearing at the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Australia.
Maddilyn-Rose Ava Stokes passed on while at Queensland Children’s Hospital with burns that covered most of her body. Her cause of death was listed as sepsis.
According to experts, before the little girl passed away, she was in excruciating pain.
Father Pleads Guilty
David Stokes, the 33-year-old father to the girl, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm, torture, and manslaughter. Nicole Betty Moore, the baby’s 26-year-old mother, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and torture.
Apparently, the father had held his daughter under scalding hot water. In the process, he burned her backside, legs, groin, and buttocks.
However, even after the father did this to her, the couple did not try to get the girl medical help until five days had passed. The girl was discovered unconscious by first responders in their Northgate home in Brisbane.
Sarah Farnden, the Crown prosecutor, said that the girl would have been in great misery and pain during that time. She brought this up during the court hearing:
“She would have been dehydrated and weak, unable to eat and drink properly, possibly vomiting – she likely became delirious and unconscious before ultimately going into cardiac arrest and ceasing breathing.”
Couple Didn’t Know How Serious The Injuries Were
Although Farden claimed that the severity of the injuries the girl suffered would have made it obvious that the girl needed immediate medical attention, Eoin Mac Giolla Ri, the couple’s lawyer, claimed that the two didn’t realize at the time how serious the toddler’s injuries were.
According to investigators, Stokes had changed his story a couple of times while explaining the incident. At first, he claimed that he had left the baby with her sister in the bathtub on their own.
Then he heard a scream and found the girl in a bedroom.
However, he later said he ran hot water over the girl because she had “soiled her nappy.”
According to court documents, the injuries were consistent with the girl being held in a standing position under water over 60 degrees Celsius for a period of more than 30 seconds.
The mother’s lawyer, Lars Falcongreen, argued that she was not around when the incident happened. The lawyer also claimed that she thought Maddilyn-Rose had been burned by her other child.
Falcongreen claimed that the mother “never received any other story than that – she wanted to call an ambulance, and yes, she should have.”
The lawyer claimed that she did not fail to take the girl to the hospital out of malice or for lack of concern, but because she was scared that the child would be taken away from her.
The Parents Knew What Was Going On
According to phone records, both parents did searches online on how to treat burns at home. They even used aloe vera gel and bandages.
The online searches were done two days before they called the authorities to tell them about the injuries.
Additionally, autopsy reports indicated that the girl had antidepressants in her system. Coincidentally, this was the same kind of medication prescribed to her father.
According to the prosecution, the medication was being used to “quieten or tranquilize” the baby.
However, the couple later admitted that they had lied to investigators about the date Maddilyn was injured. They also explained that they had hidden this information from the authorities because they were afraid of getting into trouble.
Justice David Jackson claimed that what the couple had done was “incomprehensible.” He rebuked the couple for lying about what had happened to their daughter:
“It’s horrifying to contemplate the suffering your daughter endured at your hands – none of it should have happened.”
At the conclusion of the case, Stokes was sentenced to 11 years in prison, while Moore was sentenced to 9 years in jail.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the couple has been convicted for inflicting harm on their daughter. Back in 2015, the defendants were charged with child cruelty after they failed to feed their daughter.
However, the charges were later reduced to “failing to provide the necessities of life.”
Therefore, it would seem that the Stokes’ have a history of child abuse. It is just that this time around, they went overboard and caused the death of their innocent little girl.