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WA father jailed for killing his baby

AAP logoAAP 20/12/2016

The mother of a seven-month-old baby who died after falling from a change table says the rest of her life will be a nightmare and no sentence handed to the girl's negligent father could ever be enough.

Lily fell at the family's Ellenbrook house in September last year and died in hospital from head injuries after her father, Paul James Cosgrove, ignored telephone pleas from his wife, Emma, to seek medical treatment for the baby.

Cosgrove, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced in the West Australian Supreme Court on Tuesday to seven years behind bars.

As Justice Lindy Jenkins handed down the sentence, angry supporters of the victim, who wore shirts with a photo of Lily on them, swore and shouted at Cosgrove, calling him a "f****** dog".

Outside court, Ms Cosgrove said she and her family had missed out on the greatest blessing of all and no sentence would ever be long enough.

"He brutally took the life of our precious daughter Lily when all she wanted was love and attention," she said.

"Lily was denied a life from her dad and now we can't see her smile, watch her grow and live a life she so deserved."

Ms Cosgrove said she would never hear her daughter say "I love you, Mummy" or again see Lily's excited face when she arrived home from work.

"I will never feel so content again as I did when bathing, feeding and cuddling her like a real mum should," she said.

"I can only pray Lily is happy and safe and we'll be together again when it's my turn.

"Everyday for the rest of our lives will be a nightmare."

Justice Jenkins took into consideration Cosgrove's mental health problems but noted that while Cosgrove sometimes felt remorseful, he also blamed others.

"Thus, your remorse is not complete," she said.

Justice Jenkins said Lily was totally reliant on her father for protection, and he had also devastated the lives of Lily's mother and the extended family and friends by his actions.

The court previously heard that earlier in the day, Cosgrove fell asleep with Lily on the couch before she fell to the floor and began vomiting.

Cosgrove then left her with a neighbour, claiming he had a job interview, but instead went to get a massage and bought alcohol.

Later that afternoon, when he took her from the neighbour he left the baby alone on the change table while he disposed of a used nappy, returning to find her on the ground with her eyes flickering.

Cosgrove then again fell asleep with the baby, and when he woke up tried unsuccessfully to shake and slap her awake.

He drove Lily towards her grandparents' house for a birthday gathering and, in a phone call to his wife, refused her pleas to take the baby to a doctor, instead deciding to return home.

Cosgrove must serve at least five years before he can be eligible for parole.

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