Mum escapes jail after son, 3, found naked and bashed
A YOUNG mother whose three-year-old son walked into a Tanawha service station naked, severely malnourished, bashed and with cigarette burns on his body has escaped jail.
The 20-year-old woman pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to a cruelty charge as she had done nothing to prevent or report the abuse of her son by her partner in the six weeks he was in her care.
Her partner faces sentencing on a range of charges, including torture and cruelty, next Monday.
The boy weighed 14kg when he was taken to hospital.
Crown prosecutor Michael Gawrych said police were alerted to the abuse when the boy wandered into the service station on June 17, 2013.
He was so badly beaten that one of his eyes was "already closed over" and the other closed over within 20 minutes.
He had burn marks "caused by a circular object believed to be a lighter or a cigarette".
Older injuries, including "scabs, sores and cuts", were "all over his body".
He will have permanent scarring and will require plastic surgery.
The little boy was placed in the care of foster parents, but the court heard the mother was now having weekly two-hour meetings with him and he would return to her care.
The mother also has a 10-month-old daughter, who her sister is helping her care for under the direction of Child Services.
The mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, has a history of abuse. Her family has been known to Child Services since she was five.
Judge John Robertson said the mother was extremely immature and was not fitted with the higher responsibility of being a parent.
Her early guilty plea counted in her favour.
Judge Robertson ordered the woman to serve three years of probation and warned if she reoffended she would be back before the court.