Decision reserved in Dawes appeal hearingDecision reserved inDawes appeal hearing
SYDNEY (AAP). ? A former Ballina woman given a fiveyear good behaviour bond for killing her autistic son could still be jailed after the NSW Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) yesterday appealed her sentence.
Crown Prosecutor Lou Lamprati, SC, told the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday that 39-year-old Daniella Dawes' sentence was too lenient and did not take into account the 'objective seriousness' of the crime of manslaughter.
"What should have been imposed was a sentence of imprisonment full-time but not necessarily a long one," Mr Lamprati said.
Dawes, now of Sydney, was sentenced on June 2 to a five-year good behaviour bond after she pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her 10-year-old autistic son Jason in their home at Kings Langley, in western Sydney, on August 4 last year.
The manslaughter plea was on the grounds she had diminished responsibility for the killing because she was suffering from a mental illness ? clinical depression ? at the time.
Sentencing Judge Roy Ellis found Dawes had been depressed for years before the incident but personal problems, such as the death of her father and the breakdown of her marriage, caused that depression to escalate in the months before the killing.
She admitted to suffocating her severely handicapped son shortly before slashing her own wrists in the shower.
Dawes survived only because she was given blood transfusions in hospital, the court was told during sentencing submissions last June.
However, Mr Lamprati yesterday said that while Dawes' responsibility for the crime may have been lessened by her depression, it had not disappeared altogether.
Outside the court, Dawes' estranged husband Craig Dawes called for his wife to be jailed.
"Let's hope they get it right the second time around," he said.
The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday reserved its decision.