Heat on AG to appeal child-killing 'monster' dad's sentence
EXCLUSIVE: Former Coast detective Dan Purdie has slammed the erosion of sentencing precedents, as Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki pushes for an appeal of the sentence given to Coast toddler Corby Akehurst's killer dad.
Shane Purssell Akehurst was sentenced to 12.5 years' jail in Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to the torture and manslaughter of his 21-month-old son Corby in March, 2015.
He was deemed a serious violent offender and ordered to serve a minimum of 80 per cent of his sentence.
Having already spent four years in jail, with time already served taken into account, Akehurst would be eligible for parole in 2025.
Mr Purdie, now the LNP Member for Ninderry, was the lead investigator with the Sunshine Coast Child Protection and Investigation Unit which worked Corby's case.
He said the prospect of Akehurst walking free in six years fell well short of what the community wanted.
"The sentence handed down today certainly doesn't meet family or community expectations and as a former CPIU officer who was the lead investigator on this case, it certainly doesn't meet mine," he said.
"Nothing will bring Corby back but justice should be served. Monsters like this who kill kids should have the book thrown at them."
The court heard Corby had 81 injuries at the time of his death and his father had tortured him in the months leading up to his death.
Akehurst admitted to squeezing his son so hard his ribs popped, punching him in the face repeatedly and dropping him from hip height into his cot.
Akehurst, who has a brain tumour he could survive for at least 10 years, admitted he'd never bonded with his son, who he threw with all his force at the bed, severing Corby's brain stem when his head hit the wall behind the bed inside the family's Kin Kin home.
Corby died two days later in hospital, having never regained consciousness from his catastrophic injuries that left him brain dead.
Corby's aunt Tanya said she'd felt sick sitting in court Thursday as Akehurst was sentenced.
"It wasn't long enough," she said.
"Corby hasn't got a second chance of life. We can only hope the brain tumour gets him first.
"He (Corby) couldn't defend himself."
Akehurst had originally denied his crimes, but eventually made confessions to investigators during an interview in a Brisbane hospital, as Corby lay brain dead metres away.
Akehurst had originally been charged with murder, torture and numerous other charges, but they were downgraded to manslaughter and torture.
Mr Purdie said he didn't blame the sentencing judge or the court system.
"I'm certainly not blaming the judge, I'm certainly not blaming the courts, they're bound by the legislation," he said.
He was critical of the "chipping away" of sentencing over the years and said it was time for harsher mandatory sentences for child killers.
"I've spoken to the family and Shadow Attorney General David Janetzki... and we all agree this sentence is manifestly inadequate and will be calling on the AG to appeal the sentence," Mr Purdie said.