Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Man jailed for killing twins' sons

A SYDNEY man has been jailed for at least 24½ years for killing the infant sons of twin sisters with whom he had separate relationships.

In the NSW Supreme Court yesterday, Justice Peter Hall said the otherwise non-violent man had not revealed how the deaths occurred or his motivation.

The judge also noted the deaths had "left an unimaginable trail of grief and tragedy".

The 41-year-old printer, who can only be referred to as RHB for legal reasons, had denied murdering both boys, on January 26, 1993, and February 14, 2004.

In October a jury found him guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter in relation to the first boy, aged 14 months, and guilty of murdering the second, aged two. Both infants suffered internal traumatic - non-accidental - head injury.

"The medical evidence permits the inference to be drawn that the force involved in occasioning blunt head injury to [the first boy] was a significant force or sufficient to cause rotational head injury or injury caused by impact," Justice Hall said. "The mechanisms of injury were the same or similar to those that caused injury to [the second boy]."

RHB married the mother of the first boy in 1992 and sometime after they broke up in 2001 began a relationship with her twin.

In the first case he had brought her unconscious and "limp" son to her at their home, after he had been alone with the toddler.

The mother of the second boy had been out shopping when RHB rang to say: "Hurry up and get back, your son is unconscious, he's blacked out."

On occasions, she said, RHB told her how much he hated her taking the boy to visit his father, saying "I wish this child was mine so you wouldn't have to go over and see [him]."

Justice Hall said medical evidence at the trial concluded he was not suffering any psychiatric illness, disability, or disturbance.

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