National

Events leading up to death of Qld toddler

Events leading up to death of Qld toddler

A CORONER HAS FOUND QUEENSLAND'S CHILD SAFETY DEPARTMENT FAILED TO PROTECT MASON JET LEE, WHO DIED AGED 22 MONTHS. HERE'S HOW THE CASE UNFOLDED.

APRIL 2015

* The child safety department is told Anne-Maree Lee's children are unsupervised and that she's using and selling drugs

JULY 2015

* The department learns Lee and her five children are homeless

SEPTEMBER 2015

* A doctor writes to the department about her concerns for Lee and her family

* Lee and William Andrew O'Sullivan begin their relationship

NOVEMBER 2015

* The department is concerned about Lee's alcohol abuse

JANUARY 2016

* A doctor advises Mason be taken to hospital for a head injury, but that does not occur

FEBRUARY 2016

* Mason is hospitalised for weeks with some injuries described by a doctor as the worst he has seen in his 45-year career

* Concerns of medical neglect and/or abuse are recorded

MARCH 8, 2016

* Hospital staff try to stop Mason's discharge to the care of his mother but the department overrules them

MARCH 15, 2016

* Police, doctors and child safety officers (CSOs) meet about Mason, deciding the case needs joint investigation

MARCH 18, 2016

* CSOs visit Mason's home for five minutes, standing at the front door

* This is the last time anyone from the department sees Mason

JUNE 6, 2016

* O'Sullivan hits Mason so hard in the abdomen that his small intestine ruptures

JUNE 8, 2016

* CSOs visit Lee - after being contacted by neighbours - but don't ask to see Mason

JUNE 9, 2016

* Lee tells CSOs O'Sullivan is extremely violent and using ice

JUNE 10, 2016

* CSOs see Lee in the street without Mason, but don't ask about him

JUNE 11, 2016

* Mason dies in O'Sullivan's unit in Caboolture, north of Brisbane

* His body is left for hours before paramedics are called

* The cause of death is infection, caused by the ruptured intestine, but an autopsy finds multiple injuries showing severe mistreatment for some time

NOVEMBER 2016

* Three child safety staff are stood down; another nine face disciplinary action

2018 and 2019

* Lee and O'Sullivan plead guilty to manslaughter and cruelty to a child by failing to get him medical treatment

* Both are sentenced to nine years' jail

DECEMBER 2019

* O'Sullivan's jail sentence is increased to 12 years in the Queensland Court of Appeal

JUNE 2020

* Coroner Jane Bentley hands down her findings, saying the child safety department failed in its duty to protect Mason from harm

* She says the handling of Mason's case was "a failure in nearly every possible way".