Cody's Law by Fin J. Ross

By Fin J. Ross

The brutal bashings of a five-year-old Cody Hutchings by way of his step-father promoted a huge switch in nation laws in Australia.

After Stuart John McMaster was once came upon responsible manslaughter, the Victorian kingdom executive brought the hot offence of kid homicide.

Welcome to Crime Shots—short, sharp, actual crime tales from Australia's previous and current.

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I am, on the basis of the nature of the relevant internal injuries, satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that you subjected Cody either to a very hard push, or allowed at least some of your weight to be placed on his stomach as he lay on the ground, so that you partially stood on him,' Justice Harper said. He said that whether McMaster pushed Cody with his foot or partially stood on him, the action indicated a degree of contempt for the child and a total disregard for the humiliation such an action would cause.

They were visible on his head, his neck, his chest, his abdomen, both arms and both legs, his penis and his buttocks. In addition, he had a large gash to his forehead, a tear to the tissue that connects the inside of the upper lip to the gum and two fractures of the skull. Associated with one of these was extensive haemorrhaging around the back left area of the head. ' The court heard that about two weeks before he died, Cody failed to obey an order from McMaster to sit down and stop fidgeting; a minor misdemeanour for which McMaster slapped him on the chest and in the stomach, leaving red marks.

On June 12, 2008, Court of Appeal Justices David Ashley, Marcia Neave and Lex Lasry dismissed the appeal, ruling that the DPP had failed to show the sentence was 'flagrantly, shockingly, inadequate”. The three judges noted that McMaster's sentence was already the highest imposed for manslaughter of a child and deemed that to increase that would be "far outside past sentencing practice ". They also found that if McMaster had not pleaded guilty he may have escaped punishment for the killing. For many, Cody Hutchings will be remembered not only for his angelic face and his brutal death, but for the instigation of a tougher benchmark in sentencing people convicted of killing children.

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