Man jailed for 44 years for murdering toddler who was repeatedly bitten and burned

| 12.04,19. 11:57 PM |



Man jailed for 44 years for murdering toddler who was repeatedly bitten and burned




Photo: Mohammed Khazma is escorted into a transport vehicle outside court. (AAP: Joel Carrett)

A Sydney man has been sentenced to 44 years in jail for the murder of a two-year-old girl who was repeatedly beaten, bitten and burned with a cigarette lighter.


Mohammed Khazma, 25, met the girl's mother on Facebook in November 2016 and the three moved into a rented Guildford granny flat the next month.


During a Supreme Court trial in Sydney last month, the jury heard the toddler's cause of death, just before Christmas that year, was blunt force trauma and spinal cord injuries.


Khazma attempted to blame the mother for the girl's extensive injuries during the trial, even claiming he threatened to leave her if the systematic abuse continued.


His denials backfired on Friday when Justice Elizabeth Fullerton noted his reluctance to take any responsibility for the death and the girl's injuries.


Khazma shifted nervously in the dock during the sentencing, but showed little emotion when he learned his fate.


He received a maximum sentence of 44 years in jail, with a non-parole period of 33.


'Probable' human bite marks


A post-mortem examination revealed the toddler had 114 injuries, including 45 separate sites of bruising, 17 thermal injuries caused by a cigarette lighter and 28 "probable" human bite marks.


Justice Fullerton said she was satisfied Khazma inflicted all of the burn marks, "deriving some perverse pleasure from the pain the child would inevitably have suffered".


But she was not satisfied he was responsible for all of her injuries.


The judge said she was not satisfied a life sentence was warranted, but described Khazma's criminality as "very grave".


"[The girl was] not simply vulnerable and defenceless because of her age ... but she was without any agency of her own or capacity to defend herself from the two adults who were, in different ways, ultimately criminally responsible for her death," she said.


Khazma's actions were the result of his "uncontrolled rage" but not a hatred of the girl, Justice Fullerton said.


During his arrest, Khazma told police: "I didn't mean to kill her."


He later told officers the girl had been having seizures for a week.


He will be eligible for parole in December 2049.


The mother was also charged over the death.


She pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to three years with a non-parole period of 16 months.


abc


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