Mum jailed for killing toddler Mason Lee

Mason Lee's mother has been jailed over the toddler's death.
Mason Lee's mother has been jailed over the toddler's death.

When Mason Jet Lee needed his mother the most, she wasn't there.

Now Anne Maree Lee, 29, has been jailed for manslaughter after lying her way out of taking responsibility for her toddler or simply ignoring his existence until he died.

She was sentenced on Wednesday to nine years in jail and must serve at least a third before she can be released on parole.

That could be in July since she's already served more than two years in custody.

However, Lee's sentenced could be increased with Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath seeking advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions to see if the sentence can be appealed.

Lee was sentenced after tearfully pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Mason, who died five days after a blow from Lee's then partner, in Caboolture in June 2016.

Her part in Mason's painful death was not getting medical treatment for her son after William Andrew O'Sullivan ruptured his small intestine.

Mason died five days after the blow, aged 22 months.

She also pleaded guilty to child cruelty after failing to get her son treatment for serious leg and anus injuries about five months before his death.

Lee left Mason at O'Sullivan's place after storming off after a fight in which he threatened violence.

"You knew that O'Sullivan was a drug user," Justice Jean Dalton said.

"You knew that he had been violent to you.

"You knew that your children would run into their bedrooms when he visited your house.

"You knew that he was prone to extreme outbursts of anger and he was jealous and possessive and controlling."

Prosecutors believe Mason's injuries were "survivable" with medical treatment.

His symptoms would have been "obvious" and included pain, fever, vomiting, lethargy and paleness.

"Whilst she may not have been aware of the infliction of his injuries specifically, or its severity, as the child's condition deteriorated over the course of a few days she did not seek medical attention for him," crown prosecutor Michael Byrne QC said.

Mason died in O'Sullivan's unit. When paramedics were called, he was already showing signs of rigor mortis.

Months earlier, Lee and O'Sullivan also failed to get Mason medical treatment for perianal injuries, including anal fissures.

A broken leg was also untreated.

When Lee did call a doctor, Mason was hospitalised for 22 days and required narcotic infusions for severe pain.

Lee insisted she had been to GPs and been assured Mason only had nappy rash.

"That was a lie," Mr Byrne said.

He had perianal injuries and a prolapsed anus, dermatitis and cellulitis.

O'Sullivan was jailed for nine years last year with parole eligibility set for July 2022.

Lee received a lighter sentence despite prosecutors arguing as Mason's mother, her criminality was greater than O'Sullivan's.

Justice Dalton disagreed, but acknowledged her parenting standards were grossly below community expectations.

"The fact you are the parent gives you a much greater responsibility and obligation to take care of your child than someone who is ... not even related to the child."

Australian Associated Press