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Vic child killer 'faces hard time in jail'

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Melissa Iaria

A Victorian child killer who stomped on his girlfriend's toddler has been assaulted in custody and will find jail time more onerous than other criminals, a court has heard.

Former security guard Mussie Debresay was found guilty by a jury of the toddler's manslaughter in September.

He was cleared of the more serious charge of murder.

The two-year-old died as a result of blunt force trauma in May, 2005 when her abdomen was compressed by a severe force doctors said couldn't have been accidental.

Defence barrister Dermot Dann QC told a Supreme Court plea hearing on Monday his client would find jail more burdensome than other inmates.

He had been assaulted in custody for his crime, made a number of suicide attempts and developed a major depressive disorder.

Mr Dann also argued an 11-year delay in the case should count in his client's favour.

Debresay had felt like he had been under investigation the whole time and at one stage had a murder charge hanging over his head, he said.

Prosecutor Sally Flynn told the court Debresay's assault on the vulnerable child was violent, brutal and deliberate.

Stomping on the child as she lay helpless on the floor was a particularly violent act, she said.

Debresay failed to seek immediate medical help, and then lied to treating doctors to try to protect himself, Ms Flynn said.

The victim's brother told police he saw Debresay stomping or standing on his sister because she'd been naughty and had urinated on the couch.

Justice Forrest said the jury accepted the toddler's injury must have been inflicted with "very significant force".

Mr Dann said Debresay has prospects of rehabilitation, the support of his family and understands his sentence will be lengthy.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

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