Grandmother told no one about child abuse

Last updated 16:30 18/06/2014

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A Queensland woman didn't alert authorities despite being told her step granddaughter was being beaten so severely it was feared she could die, an inquest has heard.

Soon after the woman was told about the abuse, the eight-year-old girl died after being repeatedly bashed with a vacuum cleaner pipe by her mother in Cairns in 2011.

A coronial inquest in Cairns on Wednesday heard the girl's stepfather told his mother his wife had been beating the girl and he feared she could kill her.

The son told his mother that at one point he ''had'' to hit his wife to stop her from killing the girl.

However, the woman, whose job involves helping domestic violence victims, didn't alert child safety, police or any other agency or person.

''I told him: 'Do you want me to go around there (to his house)','' the woman, who can't be named for legal reasons, told the court.

But the woman didn't visit because she was told the family was busy attending a BBQ.

''I didn't call police because I was told they (the family) had fixed everything up,'' she said.

The woman said she ''wouldn't dare'' report abuse to child safety as she had negative feelings towards the department after being taken into foster care as a child.

She admitted she should have done more to stop the abuse and said she would have called authorities if she had seen bruises on the girl.

The court was told the woman lived with the girl and her family for two weeks and left the house just days before the girl's fatal injuries were inflicted.

The woman said she didn't notice anything about the girl or the mother that indicted the girl was being abused.

Earlier this week it was revealed in court that the girl was taken into foster care over abuse claims in November 2010 but was returned to her mother nine days later as it was decided it was safe to do so.

Last year, the girl's stepfather was sentenced to three years' jail for turning a blind eye to the abuse and her mother was sentenced to seven years' jail for manslaughter.

The inquest, which is looking into what involvement government and private agencies had with the girl before her death, continues.

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