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1. Murder trial: Mother admits hitting son with wooden plank.
Warning: This item deals with child abuse and may be distressing for some readers.
A mother has admitted beating her seven-year old son with a wooden plank to discipline him, while her partner held him down,
The mother, Kayla James, is in jail after pleading guilty to the boy’s manslaughter in June. She received a discount on her sentence for manslaughter for agreeing to give evidence at her former partner Kodi Maybir’s trial.
Maybir originally told police the boy died after falling off his pogo stick but through his trial the court has heard he had given multiple stories about how the child received head injuries.
Giving evidence yesterday Kayla James admitted hitting her son with the plank after her phone became wet from the rain.She said that she used a spatula and then a wooden plank to hit the child.
“He [Maybir] told [the boy] to keep still, that he deserved it,” James said.
“I had a wooden plank and I was hitting [him]. I was screaming, ‘it’s your fault, it’s your fault’.”
James said Maybir discouraged her from seeking medical attention for the boy.
“Welts started to appear on his skin. They were breaking and they were starting to become infected,” she told the court.
“He said if I take him to the GP, they will ask questions about [the boy’s] bruises and other injuries.”
The ABC has previously reported that Maybir, a Christian music producer, used boot camp-style exercises to discipline the three children, and that the couple withheld food and water from him as punishment.
Maybir would make the children run on the beach and called them “soldiers.”
“He would be forced to endure, to keep running,” James said.
Crown prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC asked: “How did this make you feel?”
She replied: “I felt hopeless.”
Mr Maxwell said: “Did you ever say to Mr Maybir, ‘this is too much for him’?”
“Not at that time,” she answered.
Ms James then recounted how on May 19, 2013, the seven-year-old was made to squat against a wall for up to three hours with his arms outstretched as punishment for “lying”.
She says that Maybir read her son passages from the Bible while the little boy squatted.