Woman jailed for prolonged mistreatment of stepdaughter

A 28-year-old woman has been jailed for the mistreatment of her stepdaughter.

The District Court in Mackay heard the offences began in April 2016, when the girl was eight, and continued until December 2017.

The young girl had to sleep on a mattress on a concrete floor covered in animal faeces. She was sent to school without lunch wearing dirty clothes. Meanwhile, the woman's three biological children all had furnished bedrooms with toys and books.

The defendant assaulted, choked and hit the stepdaughter with a wooden pole which resulted in bleeding and bruising and prompted police intervention.

The court heard the defendant was a victim of domestic violence throughout her life, inlcuding by her stepdaughter's father, who was frequently absent due to work commitments. She also experienced physical and sexual abuse from her own father during her childhood.

Chief Judge Brian Devereaux described the woman's crimes as "disgraceful and abhorrent" as he jailed her for three and a half years. She will be eligible for parole in August 2021.