Latest News

QLD Mother Found Guilty Of Assaulting 4-Month-Old Daughter

"This was an attack on a defenceless victim in your sole care"

A Queensland mother found guilty of assaulting her baby daughter has avoided jail time.    

In a Brisbane Supreme Court, 30-year-old Ashleigh Meagan Watterson was found not guilty of two counts of attempted murder, and not guilty of a charge of grievous bodily harm, Nine News reports. 

But the jury found Ms Watterson guilty of assaulting her daughter Sarah—who was just four months old at the time— in October 2010. The mother was convicted for deliberately cutting off her daughter’s air supply.

The mother was handed down a wholly suspended two-year sentence for the conviction.

During the trial, a jury heard allegations that Ms Watterson had explained to police that she had been “possessed” and had tried to stop Sarah from breathing three times, The Courier Mail reports. 

The mother’s barrister had argued that she mother had been “suffering from stress or grief” after losing her older daughter nine-week-old daughter, Lara, in 2009.

But Justice Burns said the loss did not justify the mother’s actions.

“I don’t accept that any such stress or grief explains an attack on a four-month-old baby in your care,” he said during her sentence for assault occasioning bodily harm.

“This was an attack on a defenceless victim in your sole care and clearly constituted a gross breach of trust. 

“This [assault] caused your baby considerable distress and interfered with her health and comfort.”

In 2012, Sarah died from unknown causes unrelated to the allegations against Ms Watterson.  

Related stories