Mason Lee accused set for lesser sentence
THE stepfather of Caboolture toddler Mason Lee is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter, but deny he delivered the blow that killed the boy to secure a lesser sentence.
In a shock decision that bears striking similarities to plea deals made last year over the death of Gold Coast boy Tyrell Cobb, the Supreme Court in Brisbane yesterday listed Andrew William O'Sullivan's matter for sentence.
The Courier-Mail understands O'Sullivan will plead guilty to baby Mason's manslaughter and cruelty to a child under 16 in a contested sentence hearing in August.
He is expected to enter the guilty plea on the basis that he did not provide medical care to the child, just as Tyrell's mother Heidi Strbak did over the four-year-old boy's death.
The Crown is expected to argue O'Sullivan caused the fatal injuries to the 22-month-old baby boy, who died on June 11, 2016, after suffering multiple injuries, including a ruptured intestine - allegedly from a blow to the abdomen, which led to sepsis.
If O'Sullivan does plead guilty and is convicted, Mason's mother Anne Maree Lee will be the only party yet to face court over the death.
O'Sullivan was charged alongside Lee and teenager Ryan Robert Barry Hodson.
Last month, Hodson sensationally had his charges discontinued after a court found he was not to blame for failing to get medical help for Mason because he was just a flatmate who never accepted responsibility for the little boy.
Hodson had spent about 400 days on remand, but was discharged after Justice David Jackson delivered a scathing criticism of plans to allow Hodson to plead guilty to cruelty.
Lee is expected to apply for a judge-only trial in August and she has not yet been required to enter a plea to charges of manslaughter or cruelty to her son Mason.
Last November, Lee's barrister argued in the Brisbane Magistrates Court that there was not enough evidence to commit the mother to stand trial, but was refused.
O'Sullivan has not yet entered a plea, but is expected to plead guilty to both offences during the sentencing hearing on August 28.
O'Sullivan's lawyer Nick Dore declined to comment yesterday.