UPDATE: The mother of Kiesha Whippeart has been sentenced to to 22 and a half years – with a non parole period of 16 years – for the murder of her 6-year-old daughter in 2010.
In sentencing, Justice Ian Harrison said Kristi Abraham’s offence of murder lay “in the middle of the range”.
He said he couldn’t say beyond reasonable doubt that Abrahams wanted to kill her child, but that he could say the 30-year-old “intended to inflict grevious bodily harm”.
He also said Abrahams sentence was reduced by 10 per cent because she pleaded guilty in June.
Reports from the court suggest Abrahams did not react as she was being sentenced.
By MIA FREEDMAN
Little Kiesha Weippeart’s life ended in the most horrific way imaginable.
In 2010, the six year old’s mother, Kristi Anne Abrahams, punched her in the head with enough force to kill her.
But she did not die immediately.
She clung to life for 24 hours, enduring what must have been extraordinary pain and distress. Kiesha’s desperate, futile fight for life didn’t happen in a hospital but in the house where she was beaten. In full view of her mother and stepfather Robert Smith, neither of whom sought help for the little girl as she lay dying.
In fact they left her there for another week, before her stepfather stuffed her decomposing body into a suitcase and caught a taxi to bushland in Sydney’s west where he set Kiesha’s body on fire before burying it. And then he returned home to Kristi Anne and the couple’s two remaining children, a baby boy and a toddler daughter.
It would be another week before Kiesha’s name would become public.
That’s when her mother and step-father fronted the media after reporting her missing to police.
I’m no detective but the moment I saw that press conference, I knew. Nothing made sense. The story – that they’d woken up one Sunday morning to find her gone from their Mount Druitt unit and that they’d gone to check down at the local shopping centre before calling police – was plainly bogus.
Kiesha’s mother, Kristi Anne Abrahams, wore dark glasses and held a tissue in front of her face as she appeared to sob while her partner stood shiftily beside her.
Jarringly, they both referred to Kiesha in the past tense, despite the fact she’d only been reported missing for a day and they were ostensibly making a plea for her return.
Kristi Anne talked to reporters while holding a new baby or her toddler daughter and instinctively, I feared for those children.
With good reason as it turned out.
A year later, the pair would be arrested near her secluded bush burial spot on what should have been the little Kiesha’s 7th birthday. It appears they had been going to pay their respects.
I want to vomit when I write that sentence just as you probably did when you read it.
Oh the horror that little girl endured at the hands of the evil adults trusted with her care, not just at the end but it would seem throughout her short life.
As Kristi Anne Abrahams pleaded guilty yesterday on the day her trial for murder was due to begin. Robert Smith, was jailed in May for at least 12 years after pleading guilty to her manslaughter and being an accessory after the fact.
And now, finally, some of the incredibly distressing facts about Kiesha’s life can be told, must be told, so that perhaps as a society we might begin to rethink the decisions that are made around kids at risk.