A BATTERED mother-of-four who was the victim of years of domestic violence has pleaded guilty to her part in the brutal killing of her 12-year-old daughter.
The mother, whose name can't be revealed for legal reasons, had been due to stand trial for manslaughter in the Newcastle Supreme Court on Monday before deciding to plead guilty.
Her partner was jailed last Monday for a minimum 28 years after pleading guilty to murdering his stepdaughter in September 2015 near Maitland. Justice Peter Hamill formally convicted the mother of manslaughter and adjourned the case to tomorrow.
Crown prosecutor Lee Carr told the court he would have to compile an agreed statement of facts after having only been alerted to her decision to plead guilty this morning.
The mother had met her future partner in 2007 and they began a relationship in March 2009.
When the couple met, the woman had two daughters - the victim and another girl - from a previous relationship.
The pair moved into a house in Newcastle in early 2010 and had two more children together.
Justice Hamill, when sentencing the stepfather to a maximum 37 and a half years in jail last week, said domestic violence within the family began in 2011, when he slapped the mother across the head and, some months later, kicked her in the stomach and dragged her by the hair.
The man, who came to Australia from Malawi in the early 2000s, began to assault the woman's older daughters in late 2011.
After moving to a new home near Maitland in 2014, the violence directed towards the girl who was eventually murdered, escalated.
"At one stage she was tied up in the garage with her hands secured to a beam in the garage roof," the judge said.
"Her feet were also tied and the offender struck her across the back and legs with an electrical cord causing bruises to her legs and other parts of her body."
The assaults on the girl then became more regular and more violent. She was tied face down to a bed, a sock placed in her mouth to muffle her screams and she was hit with various weapons including wooden bed slats and belts.
On other occasions, the girl would be thrown against walls with such force that damage was caused to the gyprock.
In the last week of her life, the stepfather repeatedly slapped her across the face and punched her in the ribs.
At one stage, in the weeks before she was found dead in her bed, the mother warned her partner the assaults were so bad he might kill the child. But he ignored her.
Two days before the 12-year-old died, she was tied to the bed and banging noises could be heard coming from the room as the victim told the stepfather: "Dad, I'm sorry. I promise I'll change. I promise I'll change."
An autopsy found the girl's death was caused by acute blunt force trauma to the head, torso and limbs.
Justice Hamill said the pathologist believed she would probably have survived if she had received medical assistance.
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