Hemi Goodwin-Burke was 18 months old when he was bashed to death by Matthew James Ireland in March 2015.
Hemi Goodwin-Burke was 18 months old when he was bashed to death by Matthew James Ireland in March 2015.

Killer’s release: ‘No way he should get out soon’

THE Director of Public Prosecutions will consider an appeal of the six-month jail term handed down to a child killer who assaulted a three-year-old girl.

Advice was sought from the ­Attorney-General yesterday.

Matthew James Ireland, 33, was jailed for the manslaughter of Mackay toddler Hemi Goodwin Burke in March 2015. Ireland received a 5½-year jail term for the killing, despite admitting to drunkenly bashing him, causing fatal injuries.

 

Hemi Goodwin-Burke was 18 months old when he was bashed to death by Matthew James Ireland in March 2015.
Hemi Goodwin-Burke was 18 months old when he was bashed to death by Matthew James Ireland in March 2015.

 

It was revealed yesterday hat Ireland this week pleaded guilty to a second assault, this time against a girl, 3, in March 2015.

He admitted to punching the girl in the head, leaving a golf ball-sized lump and causing the child ongoing psychological trauma.

Ireland is eligible for parole in May.

Yesterday, Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said she had contacted the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution about the possible grounds for an appeal.

 

Hemi Goodwin-Burke.
Hemi Goodwin-Burke.

 

Hemi with Matthew Ireland.
Hemi with Matthew Ireland.

 

"Once I became aware of yesterday's court decision, I sought advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the circumstances of the case and as to whether there are grounds for an appeal," Ms D'Ath said.

The case is being considered by the ODPP.

Opposition justice spokesman David Janetzki voiced his concern over the sentence in a letter to the ­Attorney-General yesterday.

Mr Janetzki supported Ms D'Ath's decision, saying "there is no way Ireland should be getting out of jail in the next few months".

"As a father of three young kids, I'm determined to make sure there is some sense of justice in the system," he said.

Hemi's mother Kerri-Ann Goodwin told The Courier-Mail that she and Hemi's father Shane Burke felt "kicked in the guts" by the court's decision, but they vowed to fight on.

"Now we know what we have to do - the system keeps failing Queensland kids," she said. "Our next step is to keep pushing for change."



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