Shock plea over death of boy, 3, on daycare bus
THE former centre director of an Edmonton daycare has pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the death of a three-year-old boy left on a bus for six hours.
The case of Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, was scheduled for an indictment presentation in its first appearance in the Cairns Supreme Court on Monday morning.
But in a shock move Mr Lewis' barrister Peter Feeney asked for him to be arraigned on the charge before he entered the guilty plea.
He will be sentenced on Tuesday morning.
Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
It came just over a year after the body of Malik Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo, known to family as "Meeky", was found inside the death of a minibus belonging to Edmonton's Goodstart Early Learning Centre.
Police have alleged the boy was left inside for around six hours after being picked up from his home by Mr Lewis.
Another daycare worker was also originally charged with manslaughter, but the charge was dropped against her in January following her committal hearing, with Magistrate Kevin Priestly finding she did not have a duty of care over the child.
The court heard Mr Lewis' charge also relates to breaching his duty of care to Meeky.
A large group of the boy's family attended court on Monday to hear Mr Lewis' plea including his mother Muriel Namok who spoke out earlier this month to express their grief.
She was comforted by another family member in court.
Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane told the court they were ready to proceed with the sentence on Tuesday.
Mr Feeney asked for Mr Lewis to remain on bail until his sentencing, which was consented to by Justice Jim Henry.
He said he was supported by his wife and father-in-law in court and would return home after visiting his solicitor's office until Tuesday's proceedings.
Originally published as Shock plea over death of boy, 3, on daycare bus