Mum jailed for abusing son freed
A WARWICK woman jailed last August after being convicted of molesting her son has been freed after the Queensland Court of Appeal suspended her sentence yesterday.
The mother, who cannot be named to protect the child’s identity, was sentenced in the District Court in Warwick on August 6 last year to 12 months jail after a jury found her guilty of one count of indecent treatment of a child and one count of permitting herself to be indecently dealt with.
In the three-day trial, the nine female and three male jurors heard evidence that the mother had played with her son’s penis during a so-called “wrestling game” and that she had allowed the boy to touch her genitals with a wooden spoon.
Her defence counsel argued the latter act was more akin to an “anatomy lesson”.
The trial judge questioned the mother’s ability to take responsibility for her actions.
But in a unanimous judgment delivered in Brisbane yesterday the three judges of the Court of Appeal agreed the mother’s jail sentence should be immediately suspended.
They cited inconclusive evidence that as well as playing with the child’s penis the mother had penetrated his bottom with her finger, questioning if the jail term was appropriate if this second act did not occur.
They also questioned the jury’s apparent conclusion that, based on a definition of “indecency” given to them by the trial judge, the mother must have received sexual gratification from the offending.
They also noted the mother herself notified social workers of her conduct after becoming concerned about her son’s overall level of sexual awareness.
Her remaining jail term will be suspended until August 6.