Gold Coast woman launches appeal against sentence for killing her son

A Gold Coast woman jailed for the manslaughter of her young son claims her sentence should be reduced because she didn’t inflict the injuries that killed him.

Heidi Strbak was jailed for nine years in December after pleading guilty to the unlawful killing of Tyrell Cobb.

The four-year-old was found unconscious at Strbak’s Biggera Waters home in May 2009 and later died in hospital.


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Tyrell had suffered blunt force trauma to his abdomen, 70 bruises and cuts and a cigarette lighter burn.

Strbak is now appealing the length of her sentence, arguing her trial judge didn’t properly assess the evidence.

During her sentencing Justice Peter Applegarth found Strbak likely punched Tyrell in the stomach and didn’t get help to avoid being investigated.

“You made a terrible error of judgement for not getting treatment for this sick boy,” Justice Applegarth said.

Strbak’s lawyer Saul Holt QC argued there was doubt about his client’s guilt because medical experts couldn’t come to a conclusion about Tyrell’s physical condition and exactly when he was injured.

Strbak’s partner Matthew Scown was also convicted of manslaughter and was jailed for four years but walked free from court because of time already served.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision.

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