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Roof cavity tot's dad 'processing' verdict

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016

The father of a two-year-old girl who was found dead in the roof of her mother's home could only say he was "still processing" what had happened after the man who hid his daughter's body walked free.

John Clifford Torney, 32, was on Thursday acquitted of the murder and manslaughter of Nikki Francis Coslovich, who died from blunt force trauma injuries on August 25 last year.

The toddler lost between a quarter and a third of her total blood volume as a result of the fatal injuries a pathologist likened to those seen in high-speed car crashes.

The Victorian Supreme Court jury took just two days to reach its verdict.

Outside court, Nikki's father Nicholas Coslovich said he was still processing what had happened.

"Just trying to figure everything out," he told reporters.

Mr Torney maintained his innocence throughout the trial but admitted he hid Nikki's 15kg body in the roof cavity of her mother Peta-Ann Francis' Mildura house.

He and Ms Francis' had been dating for about five months when Nikki died.

Mr Torney told police Ms Francis confessed she had "gone too far" when disciplining Nikki and had killed her, his trial heard.

Ms Francis denied this and has never been charged over the death.

Mr Torney dodged waiting reporters when he emerged from the Mildura police station after more than a year in custody.

Ms Francis also declined to comment when she left court.

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