A BELIEF that her nine-year-old was possessed by demons had led a woman to try to pour bleach down her daughter’s throat.
The 36-year-old woman, who is not named to protect the identity of the child, arrived in Toowoomba from an African nation with her husband and children in 2010, Toowoomba Supreme Court heard.
Her barrister Robbie Davies told the court that in the third world country from which his client came, witchcraft was prevalent.
Her daughter had lived for two years with his client’s sister and when she returned to her mother at age six she claimed a cousin had given her a potion to drink after which she was possessed by demons.
Those demons had told the young girl to kill her mother, his client instructed.
The girl had been difficult to control and a number of remedies had been tried including smacking, standing her alone in her room and a Pentecostal minister had performed an exorcism on her, Mr Davies said.
She had told her mother she had been involved with witchcraft in Africa and since arriving in Australia and had drunk blood in Africa and in Toowoomba, he said.
The woman, who had no criminal history, pleaded guilty to attempting to injure by noxious substance.
Justice John Byrne said that while the motivation behind the woman’s decision to pour bleach into her daughter’s mouth remained unclear, fortunately the child had made a full recovery.
My bet is on it having something to do with the “demonic possession” bit.
By mutual agreement mother and daughter had not had contact since the incident and were not likely to until the girl was at least 18, the court heard.
Mr Davies said despite the incident the Department of Child Safety had no concerns with his client caring for her other children who still lived with her.
No concern caring for her other children … until they start exhibiting signs of demonic possession. At which point she’ll try to pour bleach down their throats too. What in the hell makes you guys think there would be any other outcome?
Justice Byrne said a strong message had to be put out that such conduct would not be tolerated in Australia where parents were expected to care for their children.
The woman was sentenced to two years’ jail but released on immediate parole.
And in an expression of this message, this woman is being released after trying to pour bleach down her daughter’s throat – in immediate parole. Again, what makes anyone in this situation think that she’s not going to do something like this again?
As with the cases of “demonic possession” I’ve discussed before, it’s the worldview of religion, superstition, and witchcraft that – to this day – ignores or rejects the medical and psychological causes of such behavior and instead simply classifies them as spiritual matters that need to be dealt with accordingly. Unfortunately, in these situations, they generally don’t end well for the ‘possessed’.