A Victorian man is accused of leaving his girlfriend’s 22-month-old child with “horrendous” injuries and using his wealthy parents in a bid to silence the woman, a court has been told.
Benjamin Stockdale is accused of intentionally causing serious injury to the toddler on November 12 and appeared via videolink for the second day of his bail hearing in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court on Friday.
The 37-year-old ordered his girlfriend out of the house to get cigarettes but then rang her screaming around 10.30pm telling her the child was hurt, the court heard.
He was the only one in the home at the time, police allege.
The little girl was allegedly left alone with the accused and was seriously assaulted causing “horrendous injuries and rendering her lifeless”, according to court documents.
She rushed to hospital where doctors found bleeding on the brain, retinal haemorrhaging, cuts and bruises, the court was told.
She remains in hospital.
Police told the could they did not want Mr Stockdale released on bail and believe he was at risk of intimidating witnesses and fleeing the state.
There were also concerns his parents passed on messages from Mr Stockdale to his girlfriend to say “no comment” to police in relation to the allegations, Detective Senior Constable Christine Walsh said.
The Detective told the court the conversations happened every few days for the past week or two.
“The family were encouraging her not to talk to us at all,” Detective Senior Constable Walsh alleged.
She previously told the court Mr Stockdale hadn’t explained how the girl was injured, and that they appeared when he went to check on her while she slept.
But Mr Stockdale’s sister Abbie and mother Wendy testified and said they would report any breaches of bail conditions to officers.
His sister told the court she was willing to put up a $100,000 surety to secure Mr Stockdale’s release on bail.
Wendy Stockdale said she would live with her son at the Cann River property, near the state’s border, and would report any breaches.
However the detective told the court the mother “lied and deceived police to protect the accused” and told the court the nearest 24-hour police station was at Bairnsdale, several hours away from the farm.
Magistrate Alanna Duffy said she had concerns about the “remoteness” of the property and issues around risk.
The hearing will resume on Tuesday.