A man who stomped his girlfriend’s toddler daughter to death because she urinated on his couch was beaten up in custody, according to the Daily Mail.
A jury found Mussie Debresay, a former security man, guilty of manslaughter in September, clearing him of the more severe charge of murder. The 2-year-old girl had died of horrific internal injuries from the attack that took place more than 11 years ago.
The little girl had arrived at a Melbourne medical center, unconscious with dilated pupils and no pulse. She died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen. The toddler was carrying a big bruise on her forehead and injuries on her neck, head, legs, arms and vagina. Police found a bloodied rag stained with her blood as well as a soiled couch cushion at the apartment.
Mussie had claimed that girl had fallen in his apartment on the day that she died. Debresay lied that he was asleep when he heard a loud bump and found the toddler lying on her stomach under the coffee table in the living room. He pled not guilty when he was charged for her death.
However, on the first day of his trial, the girl’s brother, who was aged 4 testified against him. The little boy said Mr. Debresay hurt his daughter, who was ill and had “done wee wee on the couch.” When asked what the former security guard did to his sister, he gestured by stamping his foot into the ground.
Ten years after his sister’s death, the boy still stands by his story saying that he has been haunted by memories of his 2-year-old sister, “screaming in the kitchen, bleeding…yelling that her back was hurting.”
Debresay’s lawyer had tried to discredit the boy’s testimony, arguing that his client did not assault the little girl. Dermot Dann had made known it was “demonstrably wrong” insisting that Debresay did not “step over her, kick her, head-butt her and he did not put a bag on her face as described. Any evidence he was seen to do is heavily in dispute.”
Medical experts testified at the trial and confirmed that the child’s injuries were caused two hours before she died. They added that it was unlikely that she sustained them in a fall. The prosecuting lawyer, Sally Flynn said the wounds were inflicted with so much force and tantamount to someone stomping on her body.
“One means of inflicting such force…would be an adult standing or stomping on this child’s abdomen…inflicted by someone who was very angry, someone who lost his temper.”
Girl stomped to death by Victorian man Mussie Debresay for wetting herself on his couch: Mussie Debresay, 37,... https://t.co/vkMYPYNw5o— Money News (@moneynewslive) September 26, 2016
After being beaten up in custody while awaiting his sentencing, Mussie Debresay’s lawyer told a courtroom that his client was being harassed in jail and would find prison life difficult. He said his 38-year-old client had attempted suicide in prison and had developed a depressive disorder behind bars.
Dermot Dann said his client’s 11-year trial also did not do him any favors.
According to The Age, the length of the trial led to him collapsing in court one day. The 38-year-old’s head had bounced against the back of the wall before he fell from his seat. The court was adjourned as medical help was called. He later said the pressure of being under investigation for a decade and having a murder charge dangling over his head eventually got to him.
In 2013, the state coroner held Debresay and his girlfriend, Jennifer Louey, responsible for the little girl’s death. While her boyfriend was charged with manslaughter, Louey was never charged and insists she had no idea of what happened and denied having a part in the fatal injuries that killed her daughter.
Debresay, who was born in Eritrea but arrived in Australia as a teenager, continues to maintain his innocence, yet offers no alternate explanation of what happened that day in 2005. Justice Forrest called his behavior disgraceful, pointing out that he stomped the little girl to death simply out of anger and frustration.
[Featured Image by Rich Legg/iStockPhoto]