Bail granted for mother accused of manslaughter of 20-month-old daughter


Jessica Maree Greatorex. THE mother of a 20-month-old girl who died at Tarro in June is accused of gross criminal negligence by failing to seek assistance for the toddler before she died, Newcastle Local Court has heard.

Jessica Maree Greatorex, 22, was on Friday charged with manslaughter over the death of her daughter,Hayley Rose Banister, who went into cardiac arrest and died on June 19 after suffering numerous serious injuries, including facial, head, and torso bruising, abrasions, and lacerations, broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and internal bleeding.

Ms Greatorex’s ex-partner, Timothy Andrew Whiteley, 26, has been charged with the toddler’s murder and remains behind bars.

On Monday, after spending three nights in jail, a forlorn-looking Ms Greatorex appeared in Newcastle Local Court via audio visual link from Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre where she applied for bail.

In opposing Ms Greatorex’s release, police prosecutor Sergeant Maree Maynard told Magistrate Robert Stone that there was “a number of unacceptable risks” ​in relation to the matter, including the potential for Ms Greatorex to interfere with prosecution witnesses and not appear in court.

“All of the witnesses are close family members and close friends of Ms Greatorex,” Ms Maynard said.

“For that reason we would say there is the risk of interference with prosecution witnesses.”

Ms Maynard said Ms Greatorex had provided a “number of versions to police” and those statements were “contradicted” by CCTV footage.

But Ms Greatorex’s solicitor told Mr Stone those risks could be mitigated by the imposition of a $10,000 surety, a condition that she live at an address in East Maitland and not leave home unless she was in the company of a relative.

Ultimately, Mr Stone agreed, finding there was “no direct evidence” Ms Greatorex had attempted to approach witnesses to change their statements or that she might flee the jurisdiction.

Mr Stone did have one question about the police case against Ms Greatorex.

“The key allegation is failing to seek assistance within an appropriate time?” Mr Stone asked.

“Does that summarise the essential issue?”

Ms Maynard agreed.

Mr Stone granted Ms Greatorex bail until the case returns to court in October.

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