THE mother of Gold Coast boy Tyrell Cobb is sobbing in the court dock as she prepares to be sentenced for beating the four-year-old to death eight years' ago.

Heidi Strbak pleaded guilty to manslaughter over her son's death on the Gold Coast in May 2009, but contested the allegation she was behind a fatal blow to his stomach, instead arguing it was a case of neglect.

Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth found last week there was a "compelling circumstantial case" that she did cause the injuries, and the 34-year-old is being sentenced in Brisbane today.

She is breathing heavily in the dock and sobbing uncontrollably.

 

Heidi Strbak is in a Brisbane court preparing to be sentenced for the death of her son in 2009. File picture
Heidi Strbak is in a Brisbane court preparing to be sentenced for the death of her son in 2009. File picture

Tyrell died on May 24, 2009 from two blows to the abdomen that caused internal bleeding and the contents of his stomach to leak.

One of the blows occurred within 48 hours of his death, and the other was closer to the time his mother's partner, Matthew Scown, phoned triple-0.

Crown prosecutor Phil McCarthy told Justice Applegarth that Strbak chose not to seek treatment for Tyrell because she did not want to be accused of neglect.

"She chose to conceal the true condition of her son (from her family) and doctors who might have been able to treat," he said.

"She was a person prone to aggression when not on cannabis, and she did not have cannabis that weekend.

"The young boy died in great pain."

Heidi Strbak, 32, will today be sentenced after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of her son Tyrell Cobb.
Heidi Strbak, 32, will today be sentenced after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of her son Tyrell Cobb.

Scown, 35, was sentenced to four years in jail in October for failing to provide medical care to the child.

His jail term was discounted because of his co-operation with authorities, as he later gave evidence against Strbak and said he saw her slap Tyrell the weekend he died.

He said Strbak was a good mother when she was "stoned" but became angry when she could not get cannabis.

Neighbours also gave evidence that Strbak was aggressive towards the little boy.

But there was also evidence that he admitted to kicking Tyrell in the backside in the weeks before he died, and Strbak's defence barrister argued the child was injuries four times while alone with Scown.

Justice Applegarth is expected to hand down his sentence later today.

News Corp Australia


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