Australia

Mum charged with murder, neglect over baby son’s death

A woman charged with the murder of her eight-month-old baby boy has made no application for bail in Ipswich Magistrates Court.Natalie Jade Whitehead, 34, did not appear in court on Thursday.She has been charged with the murder of her son Dexter as well as interfering with a corpse and failing to provide the necessities of…

A woman charged with the murder of her eight-month-old baby boy has made no application for bail in Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Natalie Jade Whitehead, 34, did not appear in court on Thursday.

She has been charged with the murder of her son Dexter as well as interfering with a corpse and failing to provide the necessities of life.

The murder is alleged to have occurred in June, 2019 at an address in Sonter Street, Raceview, a suburb of Ipswich.

Her case has been adjourned until January 27 at Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Ms Whitehead’s lawyer Bettina Webb said her client was “shocked” by the charges and would plead not guilty.

Detectives will allege Dexter was neglected for “days” before he eventually died.

“I can confirm that as of this morning, a 34-year-old female has been charged with murder in relation to the deceased eight-month-old child and has also been charged with interfering with a corpse as well as failing to provide the necessities of life,” Detective Inspector David Briese told reporters on Wednesday.

“There have been a number of medical tests and pathology reports … we will be alleging that the cause of death was as a result of neglect.”

Police are now desperate to speak with a 41-year-old Bellbowrie man, who they believe was the partner of Whitehead, and have urged him to come forward though he has not been identified as a suspect.

“We’re appealing for him to come forward, we would like to speak to him further and are appealing for his assistance,” Insp Briese said.

The detective would not reveal if the family were known to child services in the lead-up to the baby’s death, but said the eventual arrest was the work of “meticulous management and investigation” by detectives from the child protection unit and child trauma unit.

“As you can understand in such matters where it involves children, we, like everyone, would like to have it solved quickly and to be wrapped up, but we have to be meticulous and step through everything, including medical reports and medical testing,” Insp Briese said.

Police have pleaded with anyone with information on the death to come forward.

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