Toddler found dead in a Queensland home was covered ‘head to toe’ in injuries and endured ruptured intestines for several days before he died.
*This story contains distressing content.
Mason Jet Lee, 21 months old, was discovered dead at his stepfather’s home in Caboolture, north of Brisbane, on June 11 in a grizzly scene that left paramedics in tears, according to the Courier Mail.
New details about the toddler’s death come as his mother, Ann-Marie Lee, 27, his step-father, William O’Sullivan, 35, and Ryan Hodson, 17, are charged with manslaughter.
‘The injuries sustained by the child would have been obvious, would have been deteriorating and would have been significant over a period of time leading up to his death,’ Detective Inspector Paul Schmidt said.
It is unknown who specifically hurt Mason but all three people were living at the house when he died, Insp Schmidt said.
Insp Schmidt said it had been difficult to determine how long Mason lived with ruptured intestines, but it would have been days.
“On medical advice, the injuries may well have been evident from almost immediately after the injury, up to many days before his death,” he said.
“His symptoms were quite obvious. He was physically unwell.
“I don’t intend to go into the evidence that the doctors would give at a court trial but suffice to say he was very unwell and that would have been obvious.”
The Courier Mail reports, Minister for Child Safety Shannon Fentiman said the Government was working to restore frontline services and called on anyone with information on Mason’s death to talk to police.
“The death of any child is a tragedy,” she said.
“Every child deserves love and care. Sadly, that is not the reality for every child.”
Shuntel Lee – who was among those to call the department with concerns about Mason – said she was relieved that charges had been laid.
“Mason fell through the cracks,” she said.
“I never met Mason but I’ll fight for him. Someone has to.”
Opposition Child Safety spokeswoman Ros Bates said more needed to be done to keep children safe.
“Too many Queensland children are being left in dangerous situations for too long and we need immediate action to ensure our kids are protected,” she said.
7 News reports, Mason Lee’s mother, Anne-Maree Lee, has been refused bail after appearing on Monday in Toowoomba Magistrates Court.
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