Newcastle man charged with murder, faces court over baby boy’s ‘horrific” death

Updated February 14, 2019 15:05:01

Jie Smith, 28, has been charged with murder following the death of a six-month-old baby in his care in the New South Wales Hunter region.

The infant was taken to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition on Saturday following reports the boy had gone into cardiac arrest at an address in Fairfield Avenue in New Lambton.

He died on Sunday.

A post mortem examination determined that he died as a result of a traumatic head injury.

In a police press conference detectives revealed Smith had been in a relationship with the child’s mother for six weeks, who was not present when the baby was injured.

Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec said the distressing circumstances made it a “very difficult investigation”.

“He suffered horrific injuries — injuries that were that severe that it’s taken his life,” Detective Superintendent Kerlatec said.

“I won’t go into detail, needless to say it affected everyone that turned up in that location.

“It affected the hospital staff, the ambulance staff — it’s horrendous. Let’s just leave it at that for now.”

Police said both parents of the infant are distraught, and their other children were being cared for by relatives.

Police arrested Smith at Budgewoi on the Central Coast on Wednesday afternoon.

He was taken to Wyong Police Station, where he was charged with murder and reckless grievous bodily harm.

The New Lambton man was refused bail and will face Wyong Local Court today.

The accused appeared agitated and nervous and gave a thumbs-up to supporters from the dock.

He has been remanded in custody and will face Newcastle Local Court in May, where the matter has been transferred.

Detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad, Newcastle Police Department and Homicide Squad have established Strike Force Wandearah to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.

Topics: courts-and-trials, child-abuse, family-and-children, family, children—toddlers, murder-and-manslaughter, newcastle-2300, wyong-2259, new-lambton-2305, budgewoi-2262

First posted February 14, 2019 11:27:57

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