Qld inquiry ordered into sentences involving the death of a child

Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’Ath has ordered an inquiry into sentences handed down by Queensland judges in cases involving the death of a child.

Ms D’Ath said there is growing concern in the community over some sentences which have been imposed in recent times.

“The Palaszczuk Government re-established the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council to undertake the research and provide reports that can help guide good policy and legislation into the future,” the Attorney General said.


“I have already spoken to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chair of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council to advise them of this referral.”

Ms D’Ath did however point out that no case in particular has triggered the decision.

“It is worth noting … the Palaszczuk Government has recognised an ongoing concern in the community that needs to be explored,” Ms D’Ath said.

“When the death of a child occurs, we are all heartbroken, but when these deaths occur at the hands of another person, we all want to ensure that the community’s expectations are being met in the justice system.”

Fury erupted after 34-year-old Matthew Scown grinned as he walked free from court yesterday.

He was sentenced to four years jail after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his four-year-old stepson on the Gold Coast in 2009, but because he had already served 2 years and 8 months in custody, the sentence was immediately suspended.

Justice Martin Burns said Scown was not responsible for the injuries that killed four-year-old Tyrell Cobb, but had failed in his duty of care to the boy, by not immediately seeking medical attention for him.