It was the story that broke Australia’s hearts.
The horrific tale of Darcy Atkinson, the two-year-old boy admitted to hospital after a day out paddle boarding and Peter Atkinson, the father who sat at his dying son’s side, never truly knowing what happened.
Shocking new images have been released by Mr. Atkinson this week, bringing Darcy’s story back into the national spotlight.
The above photo is just one of several gruesome images that reveal the true extent of the bruising suffered.
Mr. Atkinson was told his son had suffered a series of terrible accidents.
In his first interview with about his son’s death, Mr Atkinson told the Express Advocate, the extent to which he still struggles with his son’s death.
“I saw the huge bruises on Darcy’s head,” Mr Atkinson said.
“He had bruises all over him. It broke my heart.”
The inquest was told that the day before his death Darcy was in the care of his mother’s friend Adam Taylor and that they had been paddle boarding when the injuries occurred.
According to Mr Taylor, Darcy fell in the lagoon, hitting his head on a board and later jumping into a pool.
He later died of brain injuries at Westmead hospital. It was also recorded that he had ingested water.
Mr Taylor told the court that although he did not see the child suffer any physical blows, he did hear a ‘thud’ when he was hit.
When giving evidence at the inquest, Mr Taylor said Darcy had fallen into the lagoon and later that the boy had been ‘dunked’ in Mr Taylor’s pool.
Later in the inquest Mr Taylor changed his statement to say Darcy had not fallen in the lagoon but had his head in water for less than a second on two occasions.
Mr. Taylor was recorded on his initial call to triple zero asking ‘What have I done?’ to the operator.
During questioning, he denied this as being an admission of guilt.
Intensive Care Unit clinical consultant Dr Barry Wilkins had also told the inquest Darcy’s body was covered with multiple “tram line marks” that were similar to injuries that occur after being caned or whipped.
“There is no doubt in my mind … that Darcy had been assaulted physically at some stage in the day before he presented,” he said.
Mr Atkinson told the Express Advocate that he had reached out publicly to gain “justice for Darcy”.
“I just hope Darcy knows somewhere up there that daddy loves him and thinks about him every day.”
The case will remain open in hopes that further answers are found.