Student accused of horrific toddler torture
A PERTH student accused of using a cigarette lighter and boiling water to torture a two-year-old girl in his care claims her third degree burns were caused by boiling noodles knocked off a stove.
Jaycob Anfernee John Yarran, 22, was charged with intend to harm and causing bodily harm,
by officers from the child abuse squad, after the girl was taken to hospital on Monday.
It's alleged the child sustained the burns while Mr Yarran was caring for her and her four-year-old sister at the Maddington home of his partner - the children's aunt - Teeana Sorrell.
Mr Yarran appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday.
The court heard Ms Sorrell left the children alone with Mr Yarran, despite an existing court order preventing him from going near them, when the alleged abuse took place.
The court heard that Mr Yarran, who is studying a bridging course at Murdoch University, allegedly used a cigarette lighter to inflict burns on the toddler's limbs and torso, and scalded her hands in boiling water.
The victim's four-year-old sister allegedly told police Mr Yarran had hurt the two-year-old "with a fire-lighter" and that she was "scared" of him.
The child suffered third degree burns, according to medical staff. In opposing Mr Yarran's bail application, the police prosecutor said the girl was still in hospital and was likely to undergo multiple surgeries, require ongoing treatment, and may lose part of one of her fingers.
Police allege that after inflicting harm of the child, Mr Yarran called his girlfriend who told him to ring an ambulance, but he refused because of the cost and instead put the girl in the shower.
He later took her to Perth Children's Hospital, where he allegedly told staff the toddler's burns were a result of her pulling hot noodles off a stove then holding them in her hands.
But a preliminary examination of her injuries by doctors suggested the burns were too "symmetrical" to have been accidental and suggested "deliberate immersion".
The court was told that when police searched his home they found it to be in an unclean state, with dog faeces and urine on the floor and dishes in the sink, the ABC reports. Officers failed to find any trace of the noodles during the search.
The prosecutor said the girl's sister had been interviewed by specialist child police and she had made claims about Mr Yarran "hurting her sister with a firelighter".
Magistrate Edward De Vries said the allegations were extremely serious but reminded the court that Mr Yarran is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
Mr Yarran's lawyer, Mark Gunning, said his client was not a flight risk and had the support of his family, including his partner. Ms Sorrell told the court on Thursday that she wanted him to continue living with her.
The magistrate granted Mr Yarran bail of a $2500 personal undertaking and imposed conditions that he not contact, directly or indirectly, the two-year-old girl or her sister.
Mr Yarran will return to court next month.