Hemi Goodwin-Burke was killed by Matthew Ireland, who was jailed for manslaughter and is now eligible for parole after serving four years.
Hemi Goodwin-Burke was killed by Matthew Ireland, who was jailed for manslaughter and is now eligible for parole after serving four years. Goodwin-Burke Family

More time in fight to keep child killer in jail

THE parents of a little boy bashed to death by his babysitter have been granted extra time in their fight to stop a child killer being released after only four years in jail.

A petition to keep Matthew James Ireland behind bars has raised more than 33,600 signatures since it was set up about three weeks ago.

The Moranbah community was left shattered after 18-month-old Hemi Goodwin-Burke was brutally killed by Ireland in March 2015.

 

Moranbah tot Hemi Goodwin-Burke was killed by his babysitter in March 2015.
Moranbah tot Hemi Goodwin-Burke was killed by his babysitter in March 2015. Goodwin-Burke Family

Ireland was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the downgraded charge of manslaughter and was jailed for eight and a half years with parole eligibility on May 24 this year.

Parents Shane Burke and Kerri-Ann Goodwin are angry, stating their son's life is worth more than four years.

In the petition Hemi's parents detailed the devastating injuries their tot sustained, "Our baby was violently pushed, punched and kicked in a sustained and vicious attack by a full grown man ... 78 bruises, ruptured internal organs, fractured bones and a severed brain stem."

 

Shane Burke and Kerri-Ann Goodwin are fighting to keep the man who callously killed their son in jail.
Shane Burke and Kerri-Ann Goodwin are fighting to keep the man who callously killed their son in jail. Jessie Seaborn

The couple has appealed to the Parole Board to keep Ireland behind bars, believing four years is also not long enough for any rehabilitation to have occurred.

Ireland was on remand awaiting the case to be finalised for two of the years and as such was not eligible to take part in any rehabilitation programs.

"We just wanted to let you all know that we have been granted an extension from the Parole Board to hand in our submission," Mr Burke told his supports today via social media.

"We now have another seven days before we need to hand it in."

The couple want to appear in person before the Parole Board to plead their case to keep Ireland in jail.


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