A community in Adelaide is reeling right now, confused and outraged to learn that a mother has avoided serious jail time despite pleading guilty to the horrific charges of aggravated assault laid against her for physically assaulting her eight month old infant.
If the charges alone aren't enough to break your heart, the child's father's words certainly will.
The child's father, Shane McMahon has spoken with local news outlet Nine.com.au and passionately expressed his frustrations, outrage, and desperation over the South Australian court's decision to go light on the mother, Lorien Norman.
Shane told the news that he believes Norman assaulted the younger of their two children, Evie, out of jealousy regarding his new relationship. The court heard that Norman, only 26 years old, called police last October threatening to throw Evie off the balcony of her unit but when they arrived and noticed bruises all over Evie’s face, Norman initially lied and told officers the baby had fallen at a play gym.
Both Lorien and Evie were taken to the hospital where a paediatrician there determined that Evie had been physically assaulted and hit in both her face and body at least eight times.
In Norma's sentencing on August 30th, Judge Jack Costello provided this statement:
In the DPP's submission the injuries were caused by reason of a sustained and deliberate assault by you upon your daughter which involved multiple blows, at least one of which was with a slotted spoon to your daughter's face and that this indicated more than a momentary loss of control on your part.
During sentencing, the judge also noted Norman’s history of drug and alcohol abuse but included noting that the mother-of-two had taken steps to her turn her life around. Her charges can carry up to a maximum 13 year sentence and those close to the family had hoped for more than what Norman received.
In a shocking turn of events, Judge Costello gave Norman a reduced sentence of a mere one year and nine months, which he said was because of her guilty plea. Then, to the horror of those around he fully suspended the sentence because Norman agreed to pay a $500 bond and guaranteeing her good behavior for two years.
Judge Costello said:
Whilst any assault of a child, particularly one of such a tender age and vulnerability, by a parent stands as a gross breach of trust, your offending is nevertheless far from the most serious of offending of this type in terms of the degree of force involved and the duration of the offending.
Presently, Shane McMahon has full custody of both the children he had with Lorien Norman and told Nine News that he was completely stunned to learn of the court's decision. In fact, he only even heard of the ruling because of an acquaintance that works at a law firm.
Where is the justice for Evie, it’s absolutely disgraceful.
Outraged with Norman he also says:
She has gone and bashed my child and threatened to kill her. It’s just gut wrenching.
In his interview with Nine News, McMahon was certain that Norman acted out of jealousy regarding his new relationship. He believes she attacked their daughter in an effort to 'get back at him.'
Even worse, the attack occurred on the anniversary of the day of his father’s death from cancer, which McMahon also believes was intentional because Norman knew it was a time of year that was 'particularly upsetting' for him.
She knew that I had gotten a new partner, she knew that it was my dad’s anniversary, and she did that to Evie.
McMahon also says that he believes this is a game to Lorien. In the days following her sentencing she texted him:
“I’m not in jail,” the text message from Miss Norman to Mr McMahon read. “What’s your next move?” And before he could respond she also said she had "made it" and that she would have "part custody within a year."
McMahon posted photos of Evie and told his story on social media and since then everything has gone viral and hearing the story of what it was like the day he found out what happened to his daughter is bone chilling.
McMahon said that the police showed up at his home the day of the assault and were wondering if he knew where Norman was. It was only a few hours later that everything turned to darkness:
A few hours later I had a phone call from major crime scene detectives saying Evie was at hospital with life-threatening injuries. I rocked up there and she (Evie) was just beside herself. All she wanted to do was have a bottle. They couldn’t console her and as soon as she got into my arms she just went quiet.
All she wanted was a bottle but she couldn’t even drink it because she was so bruised and could barely open her mouth. It was horrible.
Today, while Evie's physical injuries have healed, her father Shane says she is still suffering mentally from the horrific ordeal:
Physically she’s OK ... but mentally it’s too early to tell. But she’s well aware of what happened. She doesn’t like things near her face and will put her arms up. How will I have a hair dresser go near her face one day?
McMahon also says he plans to fight the courts on behalf of his daughter, regardless of the judge believing that Lorien was "clearly remorseful" of her actions. He will meet with a lawyer in the coming week to discuss custody, stating to Nine News:
How do they expect me to hand over my child to her? How do you expect me to put her back in the arms of that person?
It's horrific when people abuse children or animals and get away with these sorts of things. Take a look at Judge Judy reuniting a little puppy with its true owner, after a woman refused to give it back.