February 12, 2021
A 21-year-old mother charged over the death of her seven-month-old baby girl in Murgon on February 5 has been released on bail.
Lavinia Alison Murray appeared at a bail hearing in Kingaroy Magistrates Court on Friday morning charged with manslaughter.
The public gallery was packed with family members for the short hearing.
Police prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens formally opposed bail, saying police had concerns for Murray’s two other children – aged 4 and 1 – as well as for Murray’s her own safety from possible retribution.
Solicitor Alan Korobacz, for Murray, told the court it was not a situation where there was any intention to do harm and submitted that if Murray was eventually sentenced, it would be debateable if she would serve any time in actual custody.
“My submission is a court would take into account the tragic circumstances and lack of intention,” he said.
He also noted Murray had no criminal history.
Mr Korobacz said police had raised concerns about issues of retribution but he said these threats had been made before this incident.
Other alleged threats were “words and nothing more” from one person making “a big fuss”.
“Very importantly, she has much family support,” Mr Korobacz said.
“She has an abundance of people who are concerned for her welfare and are prepared to support her and the children.”
Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said Murray had been charged with a serious offence but she was not in a “show cause” situation, ie. having to prove why she should be granted bail.
He said the defendant had no previous history and he could perceive no danger she would fail to appear at a future hearing.
“She has strong family contacts and her life is in this area,” Mr Sinclair said.
He also considered the risk she could commit further offences while on bail was very low.
“I don’t perceive there to be a risk to either of her children … given the matters that have been put in place to assist the defendant and the children,” Mr Sinclair said.
“I don’t consider the mere prospect that some people may have something to say about the defendant, or have negative thoughts towards her, is reason to keep her in custody for her own safety.”
Murray was bailed on her own undertaking to appear in Murgon Magistrates Court for mention on May 4.