Gold Coast woman accused of torturing, murdering 4yo son granted bail

A Gold Coast woman charged with killing her four-year-old son has been granted bail.

Heidi Strbak, 32, was charged with torture and murder in August after police re-opened the 2009 investigation into four-year-old Tyrell Cobb’s death.

Cobb died in hospital on the Gold Coast after he was found unconscious at his Biggera Waters home.


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Her former partner, 32-year-old Matthew Scown, was also arrested last month after police dropped a case against him in 2010.

The court heard Strbak wasn’t initially charged because police hadn’t narrowed down that the two were the only ones caring for Tyrell on the day he died.

“He went to the kindergarten on Friday afternoon and left at 4pm,” Crown Prosecutor David Meredith said.

“The nature of the injuries are such that, according to the experts, if he had received those injuries prior to that date it would have been obvious.”

An autopsy revealed Tyrell suffered 70 different injuries and whoever inflicted them would have known, the court heard.

Strbak had noticed marks on her son’s body in the lead-up to his death, but Scown provided various explanations.

The court also heard a neighbour of Strbak’s previous address has told police they overheard her physically abusing the boy but defence lawyer Dennis Lynch said it carried little significance.

Justice Peter Flanagan said it was still unclear why it took so long for authorities to charge Strbak.

“There is no evidence that this applicant in any way harmed her child directly,” he said.

“The evidence is all one way – that if any harm was done to the child it was either through natural causes and the reaction to drugs, or by a third party.”

Strbak was granted bail on the conditions that include she regularly reports to police in Runaway Bay.

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