Court documents reveal that Australian child safety officers were less than one kilometer away from where Mason Lee, a 21-month old boy was dying from a ruptured intestine, writhing in his own vomit and feces, the Daily Mail is reporting.
Mother Ann Lee, 27, had dropped off the toddler at the home of his stepfather, William O’Sullivan, 37 where he died. O’Sullivan, Lee and Ryan Hodson, a 17-year- old housemate are facing charges of manslaughter. Mason Lee would have been two years old, Monday.
The trio allegedly argued about whose responsibility it was to take the young child to the hospital. O’Sullivan had sent a picture of the sick boy to his mother, lying in a pool of vomit, urging her to come get him.
The boy had been vomiting five days prior to the time of his death. Ann Lee never took him to a hospital, preferring to dump him in the house of his step-father. The manslaughter charges against the trio stem from their refusal to seek medical treatment for Mason Lee.
Considering months of terrible abuse, many believe the child care system should have done more for the 21-month child and wonder why he was still allowed to live with his mother. A post-mortem examination after his death in June revealed a catalog of horrific injuries including a broken tailbone and a broken leg.
Medical examiners said his organs had been wrenched from his abdominal lining and the tissue underneath his scalp had been torn from abuse. However, doctors believe that it was his ruptured small intestine that went untreated that slowly killed him because it was leaking feces into his abdomen. They claim the perforated intestine was caused by a blow to his upper abdomen. His mother never kept medical appointments that would have saved her son’s life.
Ann Lee appeared in court Tuesday and was targeted by a swarm of protesters outside the court, clamoring for justice for little Mason. Lee’s lawyer said it was the wrong call to charge his client for manslaughter when she was grieving over her son’s demise.
“She’s presently trying to come to terms with the loss of her son. She’s grieving the loss of her child. The charge of manslaughter is the incorrect charge…she’ll be fighting the charge of manslaughter.”
In a court document made available to the court, the lawyer said the welfare officers had faulted by not going to see the child after visiting his client’s house. He explained that Ann Lee had told them that O’Sullivan’s house was less than a kilometer away, but they did not go there.
“I asked about Mason and she said that they hadn’t seen him as he was with Will (O’ Sullivan). She was told that Child Safety was going to try to see Mason at Will’s.”
O’ Sullivan, who said he was “no carer,” had left the child for his younger housemate, Hudson to look after. Hodson had refused multiple times to get Mason medical attention.
Hodson’s girlfriend told officers in a witness statement that she told her boyfriend to take the boy to a hospital. He said Mason “wasn’t his child and was not his problem.” A CCTV camera even picks Hodson taunting the toddler with some food.
“Come on c***, you walk like a spastic. Hurry up and grab your f***ing bottle, Mason. Get here if you want your f***king bottle.”
Police say on the night before his death, O’Sullivan had left Mason alone in the house for about 20 minutes. CCTV surveillance picked him returning later, talking to himself that “I can’t do this.”
Hodson was granted bail from jail after he said he feared for his life. According to him, inmates had vowed to kill him for allowing Mason Lee die without medical attention. O’Sullivan and Lee remain behind bars.
[Photo by iStock]