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Vic toddler killer collapses in court

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016 Genevieve Gannon

A man who killed his girlfriend's two-year-old daughter has collapsed in a Victorian Supreme Court dock, forcing his pre-sentence hearing to be adjourned.

Mussie Debresay clutched his chest and fell to the floor before paramedics rushed to his aid during the 38-year-old's first court appearance since he was found guilty of manslaughter in September.

The former security guard still insists he didn't harm the toddler, whose abdomen was compressed by a severe force which doctors say couldn't have be accidental.

The two-year-old girl died as a result of blunt force trauma on May 13, 2005.

Described by her aunt as "a loud and cheeky little girl who loved to sing and dance", the victim would have turned 14 this past September.

Her older brother, who can't be identified, gave evidence at trial that Debresay had stomped or stood on her because she was naughty.

In an emotional victim impact statement read to the court on Thursday, he said his sister's death had left him feeling scared and upset.

"If (she) was still here I think our family would be a lot happier," he said.

Debresay had been dating the children's mother for a few months before the fatal injuries were inflicted on the two-year-old, the Victorian Supreme Court previously heard.

The victim's younger sister said she pretends her big sister is still here.

"I say good morning to her and good night," she said in a statement read to the court.

"I feel very upset when I see the man's name. I feel safer because I think he has to go to jail."

The victim's aunt described the toddler as a nurturing and loving child.

"She would wrap her chubby arms around my neck ... and cover my ears with sloppy kisses.

"She would have been 14 years old. What would she be like? What would she aspire to? What were her dreams?

"No one has the right to hurt another human being, especially one that cannot defend itself."

Before Debresay's collapse, defence barrister Dermott Dann told the court the Footscray man had made a number of suicide attempts and had developed a major depressive disorder.

Mr Dann said the jury verdict did not answer the question of how many "contacts" Debresay had with the child and submitted that Justice Terry Forrest should sentence him on the basis there'd been just one.

Justice Forrest said it was clear that significant force was applied.

The matter was adjourned to a date to be set.

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