Murder accused mum dies in jail
A VICTORIAN mother charged with the murder of her eight-year-old son has died in prison.
Joanne Finch, 42, had been in custody since March after Brodie Moran's body was found at a Tootgarook house on the Mornington Peninsula.
Victoria Police said a 42-year-old woman died at a Ravenhall correction facility, in Melbourne's outer west, on Tuesday.
Her death is not being treated as suspicious.
Ms Finch's lawyer, Brendan Wilkinson, said there would be an inquiry into her death.
He told Fairfax Media her death had a devastating impact on those who were working to make sure she could have a better life.
"The only thing she lived for was her son, and when Brodie was gone it proved too much," he said.
MOTHER ACCUSED OF MURDER
In March, eight-year-old Brodie was found dead inside the home he and his mother shared in the seaside town of Tootgarook, south-east of Melbourne.
Ms Finch made a frantic triple-0 call at 1.30pm, but by the time police arrived, Brodie was gone.
She was calm and articulate when police reached the property, according to the Herald Sun. Sources allege she told officers she "heard voices in her head" and said Brodie's death had resulted from a "momentary lapse in reason".
Ms Finch was charged with one count of murder. She did not have a criminal history.
During her first court appearance that same month, the court heard she was taking antidepressants and suffering a "major depressive illness".
Asked by Magistrate Fiona Hayes if she understood the charges and that she will be required to appear in court via videolink on June 29, she replied, "Yes", before being led out of court.
At a second hearing in June, neighbours said they "heard a young child screaming".
Magistrate Donna Bakos told the court "some noise" was reported by a neighbour on the day Ms Finch placed the frantic triple-zero call to police.
"Most witnesses say she was a loving mother and never displayed any inappropriate behaviour towards her son … other than some noise from the neighbour who heard a young child screaming," Ms Bakos said.
The magistrate said the case was "extremely distressing" and witnesses should not be subjected to cross-examination before a potential trial, and that even if they were questioned they were unlikely to change their original stories.
The matter was held over for a further committal mention in October 2.
'MY DEEPEST REGRET IS THAT I WASN'T THERE'
Brodie's father, Lee Moran, wrote on Facebook in March that he had "lost the best part of" himself. In a statement through Victoria Police, he said he has only one regret.
"My deepest regret is that I wasn't there," he said.
Mr Moran said he was thankful to "old friends, concerned parents and strangers on the other side of the world" who have reached out to him, and that he wishes there was a simple explanation.
"People will always have their own assumptions as to what lead up to my beautiful son's death … but the truth is there is no other story.
"Although Joanne and I had separated in July 2015, I never stopped loving, caring and supporting my son both emotionally and financially. Brodie and I had a weekly face time (video phone call) session together when he would share with great enthusiasm all that he had done that week.
"At no point did I, or anyone around Brodie and Joanne, feel that he was in danger."
He said Brodie lived a short life filled with love and compassion for others.
"If I could be half the person my son was, I would be proud. He lived a life in his eight short years that many others may not live in a lifetime.
"When remembering Brodie it is with happiness of his warm cheeky smile and loving caring nature, and this is a gift he has left us all."
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