A Brisbane, Australia, father was sentenced to nine years in prison after he reportedly punched his 3-year-old daughter in the stomach so hard that it killed her.
Matthew Lee Williamson was sentenced after the death of his daughter, Kyhesha-Lee Joughin, which followed weeks of physical and sexual abuse. Williamson reportedly kept his daughter locked in her bedroom and verbally and physically abused her for weeks before the incident occurred.
The girl's death came in March of 2013, three days after her father punched her in the stomach and ruptured her bowel. Williamson was on drugs during the three-day period before the girl died and ignored his daughter's intense pain, though she might have lived had he sought medical attention. In the last 12 hours of her life, doctors said that she would have been in such immense pain that she wouldn't have been able to sleep, eat or move.
"She was bubbly, she was energetic, she was funny, she had a little Miss Diva attitude and I miss that about her, just like her little brother Joey, full of energy, full of love," Danielle Joughin, the girl's mother, told the Courier Mail outside of the courthouse following the sentencing. "Her memory will never be forgotten, there are pictures on the wall, we’re always talking about her."
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Williamson pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting to neglecting her injury but denying that he caused it. Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Roslyn Atkinson rejected his denial and sentenced him, as well as his roommate Christopher Kent, to prison for manslaughter.
"Your treatment of your daughter was occasionally loving but mostly cruel and callous," Atkinson told Williamson in court, News.com.au reported. "You should have put her welfare above all else."
The story quickly went viral, with many saying that Williamson should have received a much harsher sentence than the one he got.
"Disgusting! That pig caused that child horrendous pain and eventually death and all he gets is 9 years? Certainly no justice in Australia! This idiot needs eye for an eye punishment!" one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.
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"yrs is not only a joke, it's a slap in the face. What abt the life of HIS child. Not just being continually raped, physical abuse & being murdered. Why is it left up to prisoners to punish him? Why doesn't our judicial system hand down some justice for this poor baby girl? This is one of the reasons it continues to happen, there's not enough severe punishment for the victims. This is heartbreaking to know that our children are not protected by the ones that are suppose to love & care for them. She is in heaven but what a horrible way to go," another added.