A woman accused of beating her eight-year-old daughter with a vacuum cleaner pole so severely that she died from her injuries will likely plead guilty to manslaughter.
Although the woman is charged with murder, prosecutors told a far north Queensland court on Tuesday that she plans to plead guilty to the lesser charge.
It will be up to Queensland’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Tony Moynihan, to decide whether to accept the woman’s plea or whether the case proceeds to trial.
The girl’s body was found at a unit in the Cairns suburb of Westcourt in November 2011.
Police allege her mother, who is a New Zealand citizen, repeatedly beat her with a metal vacuum pole, among other forms of abuse, over a period of at least 12 months.
The 28-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has yet to enter a plea but may do so when her case is mentioned in court later this month
.She is also charged with torture and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed.
The woman’s 23-year-old partner is accused of turning a blind eye to the abuse and faces one charge of manslaughter.
During a brief mention of his case in the Queensland Supreme Court in Cairns on Tuesday, Crown Prosecutor Roger Griffith said the girl’s mother would likely plead guilty to manslaughter.
"I’ve been informed that what is probably going to happen is that she’ll plead guilty to the next charge down,’" he said.
The stepfather’s trial is set down for three to four days from August 26.