Sunday, November 25, 2007

A TODDLER bled to death after her stepfather flew into a rage and crushed her against the edge of a bathroom sink, a Melbourne court has been told.

Phong Gia Quach, 23, told police he intended to scare the three-year-old into obeying him after an illness caused her to continually vomit on herself, not into a bucket as he had asked.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Victorian Supreme Court today.

Quach put Liliana Lam on the floor and pushed on her stomach with both hands, then picked her up and pushed her forcefully over the edge of the basin on May 3 last year at their Noble Park home, the court was told.

Liliana died less than an hour after being taken to Monash Medical Centre the next day.

The court was told Quach admitted to police he might have killed Liliana but never intended to hurt her.

Prosecutor Geoff Horgan SC said Quach gave a bizarre reason for his actions, saying Liliana's grandparents had accused him of being a drug user and bashing her so he thought "if I'm going to be accused of it I might as well do it".

The court was told Liliana had suffered an abdominal injury at least eight weeks before her death which had left her fragile.

But Mr Horgan said there was no evidence about how this injury had occurred.

Defence lawyer Robert Richter QC said his client was remorseful and had insufficient parenting skills to deal with Liliana.

He said there was no evidence Quach had been a "serious, brutal and sadistic carer", instead he had simply lost his composure with the youngster.

Quach was remanded in custody for sentence on a date to be fixed.,23599,22791247-421,00.html


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