The grandfather of a murdered toddler, John Sandeman, has called for mandatory sentences for child killers.
The grandfather of a murdered toddler, John Sandeman, has called for mandatory sentences for child killers.

'Premier should see my dead grandson in coffin'

THE grandfather of a murdered toddler has demanded Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk see photos of his dead grandson in a coffin to see the real effect child killers have on Queensland families.

Mason Parker was 17 months old when he was murdered by his mother's partner Troy Reed in 2011.

He was convicted and sentenced to life with a non-parole period of 15 years.

Mason's grandfather John Sandeman believes proposed laws for child killers, introduced this week by Labor, do not go far enough.

He wants mandatory penalties, as proposed by the LNP, but wants a bipartisan approach.

"The Premier went up and saw the dead cattle (after the floods)," Mr Sandeman told The Courier-Mail.

"Well I've got photos of my grandson in a coffin.

"She can come up here and I'll show her.

"We'll show them the proof, then they might realise why we are so passionate about changing this law."

The Government has introduced a Bill to expand the definition of murder and add a new aggravating factor to manslaughter of a child under 12.

Murder will be redefined to include unlawful killing of another if the death is caused by "an act or omission with reckless indifference to human life".

 

 

Mason Parker was 17 months old when he was murdered by his mother’s partner.
Mason Parker was 17 months old when he was murdered by his mother’s partner.

For example, a person who sexually abuses a child to the point that they die would be able to be charged with murder and not manslaughter and would serve a minimum of 20 years non-parole.

"The Bill is also aimed at capturing those child manslaughter cases at the 'higher end' of culpability, involving violence or significant neglect but where intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt," Ms Palaszczuk said of the new laws.

The Bill also increases the maximum penalty for the offence of failure to supply necessaries from three to seven years in jail.

Ms Palaszczuk has encouraged people interested in the laws to provide submissions to the committee examining the Bill and has ordered the Attorney-General's office to contact Mr Sandeman.

"My heart goes out to Mr Sandeman and his family," Ms Palaszczuk said. "There are no words that can describe the grief of losing a child."

 

Troy Reed was sentenced to life with a non-parole period of 15 years.
Troy Reed was sentenced to life with a non-parole period of 15 years.

The LNP will support the government's changes but has proposed a new child manslaughter offence to ensure killers spend at least 15 years in jail, rather than the average of less than seven years.

The minimum non-parole period for the murder of a child under 18 would be increased from 20 to 25 years.

Shadow attorney-general David Janetzki said NSW had reckless indifference to human life provisions but plea deals for manslaughter still took place and believed the same would happen in Queensland.

Mr Sandeman said he wants politicians to listen to the families of victims.

"We've lost our loved ones, politicians need to realise that," he said.

"These mongrels took the lives of little kids that couldn't defend themselves, we have to punish them properly."