Rick Cataldo was arraigned in the Supreme Court on July 6 and he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. An earlier charge of murder was dropped.
Rick Cataldo was arraigned in the Supreme Court on July 6 and he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. An earlier charge of murder was dropped.

Burpengary dad jailed for fatal bashing of baby

A father of two who brutally bashed his "defenceless" seven-week-old daughter - but claims no memory of the event - then refused to take the screaming child to hospital for 10 days is eligible to apply for parole from today.

Former pizza delivery driver Rick Cataldo, 29, from Burpengary, was in the Supreme Court in Brisbane today where Justice Debra Mullins sentenced to him to a head sentence of eight years behind bars.

He can submit papers to the parole board but that process can take months.

Justice Mullins set the parole eligibility at today's date because Cataldo has already spent three years and ten months in presentence custody.

Cataldo was arraigned in the Supreme Court on July 6 and he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of baby Lily Rain. An earlier charge of murder was dropped.

Cataldo's former defacto partner, and the mother of Lily, was given a wholly-suspended five year sentence in April for Lily's manslaughter for not taking Lily to hospital where her life could have been saved.

Justice Mullins said Cataldo's longstanding anxiety and mental health problems explained why he did not seek medical help for Lily.

She said the community "denounces" Cataldo bashing his daughter.

Cataldo fractured baby Lily Rain's skull on April 29, 2012 with at least one blow to her head.

She died on May 8, 2012 from head injuries after Cataldo refused to allow Leask to take Lily to hospital.

Leask initially agreed to lie to police to protect Cataldo but later rolled over and gave evidence against Cataldo.

Cataldo lied to police at Redcliffe hospital on the day of Lilys death, telling them "I dropped Lily and she hit her head" and he later told Leask to "tell the hospital that the bruises" were "from you getting her tangled up in the seatbelt getting out of the car and you accidentally dropping her".

"Tell them she died in a cot with a blanket over her face, and that you found her in a cot with bedclothes pulled around her almost covering her face," Cataldo told Leask.

He also initially described an incident to police in which he suggested Lily had rolled off a bed during a game he was playing with her.

She had six fractures to her skull on both sides and the back of her head and an injury to her brain stem and spinal cord which almost reached the degree of force found in "baby shaking" cases.

She also suffered a spiral fracture to her arm and rib fractures likely to be caused by "crushing" or "compression to the chest".

Paediatric neurologist Geoffrey Wallace told police that Lily probably would have survived if appropriate treatment were given, but its likely she would have cognitive and physical difficulties and epilepsy.



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