A grief-stricken mother whose daughter was killed in cold blood on a remote farm, has been dealt another inconsolable blow as the victim’s killer prepares to walk free for one day.
The 10-year-old girl from Gunnedah in northwest NSW was brutally set upon by a then 14-year-old teenage girl at a family home on July 8 2020, in a crime that shocked the nation.
Both girls are unable to be named for legal reasons, with the victim to never be identified or pictured devastating the family, as their daughter remains “faceless” and “nameless”.
The NSW Supreme court later ruled the attack so gruesome, media outlets were banned from releasing graphic details of the incident for the following 20 years.
Based on police findings, forensic evidence and the killer’s own admissions, it’s understood the bloody incident occurred between 6.30am and 7am with the young victim being set upon several times.
The girl’s lifeless body was later found in a bedroom after the teenager scrawled an apologetic note, picked up her bag filled with weapons and left through the house’s front door.
At about 8am, she arrived at a nearby property where she asked a woman she’s never met to take her to the police station.
Police arrived at the property shortly after to find the teenager calmly sitting on the front pergola stoically, wearing black pants and a grey tank top with the sun at her back.
She made admissions about her bloody and violent acts before an officer asked her: “Do you understand what you have done?”
“Yep,” the girl said calmly, with the conversation recorded on police body cameras.
“How do you feel about that?” the officer asked.
“I don’t feel anything,” the girl responded.
She was later put in the back of a paddywagon and taken to Gunnedah Police Station where she faced more questions, before being charged with murder.
She pleaded not guilty and was subsequently deemed “not criminally responsible” for the incident.
The teenage killer was sentenced under section 31 of the Mental Health Act after she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and was later housed at a youth justice centre in southwestern Sydney.
Now, almost three years after the unspeakable act, the victim’s mother has revealed her daughter’s killer, now 17, is reportedly set for day release for a potential permanent release back into the community.
‘That’s all my daughter’s life was worth’
The teenager’s supposed release has caused great distress to the victim’s family, according to the deceased 10-year-old girl’s mother.
“It’s utterly devastating,” she unleashed in a series of now-deleted Reddit posts.
“The system is so messed up. There’s no justice to be had.”
She argued three years’ worth of rehabilitation didn’t suffice as a consequence for taking a child’s life and posed a risk to the community.
“It’s so unjust and is causing us so much further distress to think that’s all our daughter’s life is worth,” she wrote.
“The fact she’ll likely be living in the community in another couple of years is deeply distressing to us, her family victims.
“I can’t bring my 10-year-old daughter back to life, my life has been ruined. My family’s life has been ruined.”
The mother claimed the publishing restrictions further victimised her daughter as her story “couldn’t be told”.
She was also distressed that her daughter had the same identity suppression rules as her daughter’s killer.
“I can’t even show a picture of her face or use her name. She’s been made invisible by the legal system,” she said.
“(The killer was) granted these rights and the right my daughter has to be visible and named in the telling of her story has been taken away for 20 years!”
The mother – who is still trying to come to terms with her daughter’s death – added her family has been “let down” by the legal system, explaining they have “no power and no say” in the matter.
“I feel like there’s no justice for my daughter and us as the family victims. Only endless support for (the teenager’s) treatment and ‘rehabilitation’,” she said.
“The system gives most of its resources to perpetrators and the support victims get is ridiculously insulting in comparison.
“That’s all my daughter’s life seems worth in the legal system.”
Numerous warning signs preceded the nightmare killing
The teenager’s dark thoughts existed long before she committed the unfathomable crime, and existed in diary entries which were released as part of the court case.
Suffering mental illness at the time of the incident, the teenager lived on a property outside of Gunnedah, a town located about 430 km north of Sydney.
A statement of agreed facts tendered by the court reveals she had not seen a psychiatrist or psychologist however was awaiting an appointment to see a psychiatrist in the state’s capital.
Family members recall a happy and bright child, however about four years before the killing she began exhibiting worrying and violent behaviour, court documents say.
She began biting herself, piercing staples into her hand and taking part in other acts of self-harm.
Then in mid-2019, a year before the killing, she admitted to her mother that she had slaughtered six chickens which had gone missing from their property.
Court documents describe a long list of worrying behaviour including talking about suicide, speaking of killing family members, and other behavioural and mood problems.
She told others of “a voice in her mind” that “told her to do things”, as well as a face that she would see in the dark with a “big smile or sinister grin.”
Following her arrest she told officers that she would see the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland when she closed her eyes.
“I’ve always been able to see him,” she told police during an interview at Gunnedah Police Station.
She also displayed a fascination with weapons with court documents revealing she owned several which she had given names such as “Tommy”, “Roo” and “Ray”.
In the days that led up to the killing, the teenager recorded dark and disordered thoughts in her diary, which included a plan for a killing spree in what she thought would be “sheer fun”.
Then the night before the killing, she detailed how she wanted her “kill count” to be 11 people, before discussing “the voice” she heard in her head with another person on the phone.
The other person called her and showed great concern before the young girl said “Sorry I have to go”.
The police interview, which was released by the court, shows her making further admissions as well as declining to answer other questions in relation to the incident when she was taken into custody.
When asked if she knew it was wrong, the then 14-year-old simply nodded her head.
News.com.au has contacted NSW Youth Justice for comment.
– With Steve Zemek, NCA Newswire
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