Bobby Webber was only 7-months-old when his non-biological uncle, Andrew Nolan, beat and tortured him to the point of irreversible brain damage in September 2014.
Left with broken ribs, a skull fracture, bite marks – and permanent cerebral palsy and quadriplegia, Bobby Webber received a life sentence that day. But his attacker was only jailed for 12 years and 6 months with a non-parole period of 8 years and 6 months.
With time served Nolan, who was 34 at the time, will be eligible for parole in April 2023.
Bobby’s distraught family are petitioning the NSW Court of Appeals to extend Nolan’s sentence, arguing on change.org that Nolan is “a monster who has shown no remorse, was in a sound state of mind and knew exactly what he was doing to Bobby that fateful night.” They head back to court on February 2.
The punishment, they say, “does not fit the crime.”
Nolan, who was the partner of Bobby’s aunt, tortured Bobby when he was left alone with the child for a few hours while his aunt went to a movie. At the time, he told police an intruder must have injured the child. “Whoever did this, I hope you find them before I do,” the court heard he told officers according to news.com.au. “What has happened here is disgraceful.”
Bobby’s mother Elise Webber sobbed when District Court Judge Philip Ingram handed down his sentence in December last year.
“As far as I'm concerned he doesn’t deserve to breathe,” she said. She added that she couldn’t understand why the man who brutalised her helpless baby son wasn’t given the full sentence available for the severity of his crime of grievous bodily harm – up to 25 years jail.
Today, Bobby is almost entirely incapacitated. He requires round-the-clock care, a wheelchair and never live the life that was intended for him. His family, who call their little boy "Bobby the Brave" is however thrilled with his progress.
The petition to extend his attacker’s sentence has been signed by almost 22,000 people.
“I'm sickened by what happened to this little fella & the ineptitude of the courts to put away these putrid pieces of sh*t that do these things to defenceless children,“ wrote one supporter.
“Eight years is not sufficient for ruining the potential of a person's life,” wrote another.