Michelle Leask leaves the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. Ms Leask pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her 7 week old daughter Lili Cataldo between April 28 and May 5, 2012.
Michelle Leask leaves the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. Ms Leask pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her 7 week old daughter Lili Cataldo between April 28 and May 5, 2012. Dan Peled/AAP

Mum guilty of seven-week-old baby's manslaughter

A YOUNG mum has pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the horrific death of her seven-week-old baby from brutal injuries almost five years ago.

Lili Cataldo is understood to have died in painful and horrific circumstances after suffering multiple head injuries, broken ribs and an arm fracture while in her parents' care at their Deception Bay home in May, 2012.

Her mother, 26-year-old Michelle Catherine Leask, calmly replied "guilty, your honour" when asked to enter a plea to a manslaughter charge in the Brisbane Supreme Court today.

She will be sentenced on April 4.

Leask's former partner, Rick Cataldo, pleaded guilty to manslaughter following a committal hearing last year and will be sentenced later this year.

He was originally charged with murder, but prosecutors downgraded the charge.

The court has previously been told Lili died after severe injuries were inflicted up to 10 days before she stopped breathing and was taken to Redcliffe Hospital, where she died on May 5, 2012.

At Leask's committal hearing in 2015, paediatrician Dr Jan Connors said bruising on the baby's back may have been caused by blunt-force trauma impact or from pressure being applied, such as squeezing.

Dr Connors said it was unlikely resuscitation attempts caused injuries to the baby's face, such as abrasions to the nose, upper lip and a torn fraenulum.

She said the baby's injuries may not have all occurred at the same time.

The court was told a person was seen to strike the baby on the back with "quite a degree of force".

Leask was charged over Lili's death in 2013, but has been on bail since that time.

Cataldo was not in court today, but his legal team appeared and his case was adjourned to April 7 for mention.

News Corp Australia


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