John Torney has been found not guilty of the murder of his partner’s daughter Nikki Francis-Coslovich who was found dead in the roof of her Mildura home in Victoria.
The toddler was found dead at 5.15pm on August 25, 2015 after being reported missing. Her body was battered and bruised, and had lost one third of her blood volume.
An autopsy showed she died between 11am and 2.30pm. After being abused, she may have suffered alone for an hour before dying of fatal injuries to her kidney, liver and skull.
The 32-year-old was charged with murder, however he pleaded not guilty and maintained that it was the mother who killed the child.
Torney admitted to hiding the body in the roof but denied any part in her death.
After three days of deliberation, the Supreme Court jury found Torney not guilty. He was also acquitted of a second manslaughter charge.
Following the trial, new information has come to light about Torney’s drug use and violent past.
The Herald Sun reports that Torney attacked a police officer 13 years ago with a hammer in Queensland after being approached over driving offences. He was sentenced to eight months in jail, but it was suspended.
Tonrey was also reportedly being treated for aggression and anger management, according to the publication.
The Herald Sun also reports Torney was coming down from a five-day speed binge on the day of the murder and was heard threatening the child the previous day.
Neighbour Jermayne Kennedy told detectives he saw Mr Torney standing over the sobbing child and saying: “Shut the f--- up, you little c---.”
At this stage police say there is no evidence to suggest the child’s mother killed her and they will not be pursuing her unless new information comes to light.