A Port Pirie mother charged with the criminal neglect of her four-month-old boy after he nearly died from severe injuries and dehydration is pregnant with another baby, the Supreme Court has heard.
Last week, Ebanee Gayl Coad, 30, and Jeremy Neil Capper, 31, were charged with the criminal neglect of their baby boy, who doctors described as being “close to death”.
The court heard that seven weeks earlier, they had taken the boy to the Port Pirie Hospital, where multiple injuries were uncovered, some of which were several weeks old, including a fractured skull, several broken ribs and bruises on his head and back.
He had to be airlifted to Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where he received intensive treatment.
According to the prosecution, he was also severely dehydrated and was suffering from kidney failure because the couple had failed to provide him with food or fluids for several days.
Today, the Director of Public Prosecutions applied to have a magistrate’s decision to grant the pair bail overturned.
Baby ‘mishandled over several weeks’
Prosecutor Chris Edge said it would be alleged the couple were reluctant to seek medical treatment for their son sooner because it would have revealed his injuries.
“[The baby] had been either assaulted or significantly mishandled by one or both parents over a period of at least several weeks,” he said.
“The infliction of these injuries earlier and the physical signs of those injuries were apparent — including bruising — [which] might be an explanation for the failure to seek more timely medical care and attention.”
Mr Edge said the couple was a flight risk because they had previously fled South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to avoid child protection services.
“They have a history of a transient lifestyle and not hanging around to deal with authorities when they show interest,” he said.
Mother not a flight risk: defence
Ms Coad’s lawyer told the court the baby boy suffered from an intellectual disability called Koolen-de Vries syndrome, which affected his feeding capacity.
He argued Ms Coad should be granted bail because she was 10 weeks pregnant and that she would not abscond because she had been granted supervised visits with her two older children, aged six and two, who were removed from her care when the allegations came to light.
Justice Malcolm Blue ordered reports for both Mr Capper and Ms Coad to investigate whether home detention bail would be suitable.
A decision on whether they will be released under strict home detention conditions will be handed down next Monday.