December 9, 2009
http://www.dailytelegraph.com......5808701750Dean's killer mum gets 19 years jail
- From: The Daily Telegraph
- December 09, 2009 3:12PM
SHE murdered her beautiful toddler in the most abhorrent way - swinging little Dean Shillingsworth around by his hooded top until he choked, before packing his body in a suitcase and tossing it into a dirty pond.
But justice has found its way to murderous mother Rachel Pfitzner, a judge jailing her for more than 25 years.
Pfitzner, 28, wiped away tears as Justice Robert Hulme detailed her troubled past and the "callous" murder of Dean in October 2007.
Justice Hulme did not find Pfitzner was substantially remorseful, nor had she yet accepted responsibility for what she had done - so sentenced her to a minimum term of w9 years and two months.
The maximum sentence is 25 years and six months.
Justice Hilme said she would have received 30 years had she not pleaded guilty before her trial.
"Dean was entitled to love, protection and nurture, but instead she took away his very life," he said.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC had told Pfitzner’s sentencing hearing that on the day she killed the two-year-old, she had learned that a court had granted permanent custody of Dean to his paternal grandmother, Ann Coffey.
Within hours of the court's ruling, Dean had been murdered - Pfitzner strangled him, before stuffing his body in a suitcase and throwing it in a pond in Sydney's southwest.
The court heard that Pfitzner had told investigators that Dean's death was an "accident" - saying she had shaken him, causing him to lose consciousness - but she told her mother a different version of events during a phone call that was secretly recorded by police.
Pfitzner told her mother that she had held Dean up by the hood of his sweater and "swung him around'' until he began to choke.
After throwing him to the floor, "(I) tried to control myself. Then the rage came up again and I turned and did it (choked him) again,'' she said.
She stuffed his body into a suitcase and wheeled it in a pram to the pond - watching it sink, before turning her back and walking away.
Dean’s father, Paul Shillingsworth, was in prison at the time of the offence and the court has heard that it was their volatile relationship punctuated by violence that may have contributed to her murderous act.
She loathed her son, telling police she did not look at him as though he was her own flesh and blood - his very resemblance to his father contributed to her hatred.
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