Mother who killed her four-year-old son ‘was a good mum when she was stoned’, court hears as she fights to have her sentence slashed
A Queensland mother fighting to have her sentence reduced for killing her four-year-old son was a good parent when smoking cannabis, a court has been told.
Heidi Strbak was sentenced to nine years’ jail in 2017 after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Tyrell Cobb.
In March, Strbak’s sentence was set aside after a successful High Court appeal.
Heidi Strbak was sentenced to nine years’ jail in 2017 after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Tyrell Cobb
Tyrell died on the Gold Coast in May 2009 after Strbak and her then de facto Matthew Scown failed to seek timely medical treatment for the sick boy
She faces a re-sentencing hearing before Justice David Boddice in the Brisbane Supreme Court.
Tyrell died on the Gold Coast in May 2009 after Strbak and her then de facto Matthew Scown failed to seek timely medical treatment for the sick boy.
He had been vomiting bile for two days following a blow to his abdomen, which tore open his small intestine.
By the time paramedics were called, Tyrell was unresponsive and never regained consciousness.
Strbak would be ‘chilled out’ when she smoked cannabis, but would become ‘frantic and panicky’ when she wasn’t using the drug, Scown told the court on Wednesday.
‘When she was stoned she was a good mum,’ he said.
Strbak would be ‘chilled out’ when she smoked cannabis, but would become ‘frantic and panicky’ when she wasn’t using the drug, Scown (pictured) told the court on Wednesday
Tyrell Cobb (pictured), four, suffered two separate blows to his abdomen that caused internal bleeding and the leaking of his stomach contents which led to his death on May 24, 2009
Scown said he and Strbak both smoked cannabis every day.
Scown was also convicted of Tyrell’s manslaughter and received a four-year sentence after the court found while he also failed to seek medical help, he was not responsible for the injuries.
In opening submissions, the Crown said there were only three people who had the opportunity to hurt Tyrell – Strbak, Scown and the boy’s uncle who has been cleared.
‘It is the Crown’s contention that it was Ms Strbak who applied the blunt force trauma to her son causing abdominal injuries resulting in his death,’ Philip McCarthy QC told the court.
Defence barrister Saul Holt said there was no dispute that the injuries to Tyrell were unlawful and intentional, but Strbak was not responsible.
‘The evidence will demonstrate that there was no evidence of any unexplained injuries to Tyrell Cobb prior to the bruises that began to emerge over that weekend,’ Mr Holt said.
‘Bad things were happening to Tyrell Cobb. In the vast majority at least, they occurred in the period of time that Mr Scown moved in. That was the significant change that had occurred in their lives at that point.
‘The evidence is that prior to the time that Mr Scown had come to live in the unit, there were in fact no unexplained injuries.’
The hearing continues.