Shane Purssell Akehurst had admitted to torturing and killing his 21-month-old son.
Shane Purssell Akehurst had admitted to torturing and killing his 21-month-old son.

Father gets jail time for torture, killing of helpless son

A FATHER who brutally tortured and killed his helpless 21-month-old son has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.

Little Corby Akehurst had no less than 81 injuries when he died in 2015 after suffering months of torture at the hands of his father Shane Akehurst.

The Brisbane Supreme Court this morning heard in the months before Corby's death, Akehurst would pick up his son at least once a week and squeeze him so hard his ribs could be heard "popping".

"You said you imagined the pain would be excruciating and something you yourself would not wish to experience," Justice Martin Burns said in his sentencing.

When Corby wouldn't fall asleep at night, his father would walk into his bedroom and, as the little boy looked up at him, he would repeatedly punch him in the face.

Akehurst also told police he would regularly drop the boy on his cot from hip height and that he wouldn't go out of his way to avoid the child if he was in his way.

Corby tragically died in March 2015 after his father, angry the boy wouldn't go to sleep, repeatedly picked the child up and threw him "with everything he had" at the bed, severing Corby's brain stem when he hit the wall behind the bed.

"You told police you were aiming to throw the child on the bed and you intended to hurt him," Justice Burns said,

"You said you didn't care because you were so angry."

Corby died two days later in hospital from the catastrophic injuries that left him brain dead.

"Your responsibility as Corby's father was to care for him, to nurture him, to keep him safe from harm and to love him. Instead, and without any compunction, you subjected him to a persistent course of deliberate cruelty including multiple acts of violence...," Justice Burns said.

The judge said Corby had suffered "disturbing injuries" including to his genitals, face, torso, arms and legs.

"Indeed it is a horrifying aspect of this case...that the older fractures of the ribs you caused had the effect of remodelling his chest cavity," he said.

"I can only imagine what unremitting pain and suffering Corby was forced to endure at your hands."

Akehurst was jailed for 12 years and six months and will have to serve at least a decade behind bars before he can apply for parole.

Justice Burns said Akehurst, who has a brain tumour which he could survive for at least 10 years, would have a more burdensome time in prison due to his ongoing treatment.


Has this story raised issues for you? Help is available