IN SEPTEMBER 2018 there were cries of outrage, as a man who had beaten his step-son so severely his organs ruptured and he died, was sentenced to nine year’s jail.
His name is William O’Sullivan, and he could be eligible for parole in just four years with time already served.
O’Sullivan was the care-giver for Mason Jet Lee (pictured) when the 22-month-old toddler suffered his “slow and painful” death at a Caboolture home in June 2016.
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“It breaks my heart to think about what Mason suffered – and I’m appalled his killer could be free in four years,” LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said in a statement released on Sunday – confirming that she will introduce tougher laws if brought to power in the next Queensland election.
Ms Frecklington said she was determined to bring penalties into line with community expectations, proposing a mandatory 15-year jail penalty, in what would be “Australia’s toughest punishment for child killers”.
The LNP will also increase the minimum non-parole period for the murder of a child under 18 from 20 to 25 years.
“Enough is enough, no more soft punishments. It is time to act,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The current laws for child killers are too weak in Queensland and I’m determined to strengthen them.”
The laws will be named in honour of little Mason, whose mother Anne-Maree Lee will face a judge-only trial over his death, at a date yet to be set.
“I want to make child killers pay for their crimes.”
Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said the average sentence for child manslaughter in Queensland was just 6.8 years, compared to 8.5 years for adult manslaughter.
“The law as it stands has failed to deliver justice for Mason and we must act to toughen it”, Mr Janetzki said.
“Our child manslaughter offence puts value on the life of a defenceless child”.
Shadow Minister for Women (and Act for Mason patron) Ros Bates has supported the relatives of several child abuse victims in their fight for tougher penalties.
“There is nothing more evil than killing a child,” the Member for Mudgeeraba said.
“Children cannot fight back – which is why it’s up to us to protect them.
“It’s time for Queensland to get tougher on animals who kill defenceless children.”