Drug Addicted Mother to Get Compensation For Disabled Daughter's Death

By McCarton Ackerman 08/14/14

A mother's absence due to drug addiction led to her disabled daughter's brutal beating at the hands of her husband.

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The current hot topic in New South Wales, Australia, is over a drug-addicted mother receiving victim’s compensation for her disabled daughter’s pending death, despite her absence resulting in the child being brutally beaten at the age of seven by the woman’s then-husband.

The woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, has been awarded half of the $50,000 in victim's compensation paid to the child after the violent attack. She will be able to collect the money when the girl, now 13, passes away. She is reportedly “on the brink of death,” as her congenital condition has dramatically worsened, despite requiring life-saving surgery at the time of her severe beating. She has been left with no skull over the left side of her brain and has to wear a rigid head covering at all times.

The child was placed in foster care after the attack and her current foster parents will receive the other half of the money. The Department of Family and Community Services wanted to split money between the foster parents and two children’s hospitals that treated the girl for five months after the assault. They argued that the woman had an extended history of drug abuse and neglectful parenting, which was partially responsible for the child’s assault. She has also reportedly had minimal contact with her daughter over the last two years. She was entitled to weekly supervised visits with her daughter, but stopped using them in December 2011.

However, the NSW Supreme Court ruled last week that the hospitals were entitled to nothing. "Whatever her failings, [the mother] was not beyond the pity of a child such as [the daughter], with whom there was a family bond and a shared life of tragedy," noted Justice Geoff Lindsay. He also believed that the girl would not have left her mother out of the will if she had the capacity to make one.

The woman’s then-husband was convicted in September 2011 of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.