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Father who killed baby boy sentenced to nine years

SENTENCED: Baby killer Ry Liam Smith at Maryborough Magistrates Court.
SENTENCED: Baby killer Ry Liam Smith at Maryborough Magistrates Court. Robyne Cuerel

A MAN who callously assaulted his newborn son to "toughen him up" has been sentenced to nine years' jail for manslaughter.

Four-month-old Lennoxx Eddy died two days after his father Ry Liam Smith violently shook him in August 2013 and refused to take him to a doctor.

Smith, 25, was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and failing to provide medical treatment in Townsville Supreme Court.

Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane said in the weeks leading up to Lennoxx's death, Smith assaulted him repeatedly to, "in his own words, toughen him up".

"Some examples of that physical conduct including slapping him on the cheek in quick succession, headbutting him to the forehead, he would pinch the nose of the child causing physical bruises," he said.

"He was asked on one occasion why he was pinching his nose and he said 'I like hearing him cry'. He would punch him in the stomach, he would rub his beard on Lennoxx's face."

Smith grew up in Townsville but he and partner Lilly Eddy were staying at his father's home in Maryborough at the time.

Mr Crane said on August 30, 2013, Smith smoked marijuana, injected heroin and drank alcohol with a neighbour before returning home about 5pm.

He was "irritable and angry" when he took Lennoxx out for a walk.

Smith had been gone an hour when Ms Eddy became concerned and went looking for the pair.

She found Smith a few streets nearby and saw three bruises to Lennoxx's forehead.

"He told Lilly that Lennoxx had hit his head on the side of the bassinet when he was putting him in it," he said.

"It's apparent from the nature of the injuries ... that the defendant did in fact shake the child violently."

Mr Crane said the baby's health deteriorated the next day.

"Lilly Eddy was the one who wanted to take him to the doctor, but the defendant specifically said no," he said.

"He proffered the excuse ... of teething."

Lennoxx stopped breathing on the night of September 1, and was declared dead at the Maryborough Hospital at 10.22pm.

Defence barrister Edward Bassett said Smith loved his son and thought the pinching was "some kind of game".

"(Lennoxx's death) is an effect of the drugs and stupidity, but not a desire to really injure his son," he said.

Justice David North said Smith showed animosity towards his son and used considerable force against him.

"This aggressive violence I've described as cruel, it could also be described as the actions of a bully," he said.

Smith was sentenced to nine years jail.

Justice North made a serious violent offender declaration, meaning Smith must serve 80 per cent of the sentence before applying for parole.

He has been in custody since his arrest on March 4, 2015.

Topics:  editors picks fccourt manslaughter


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