-  # Trudy Quinlivan
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"Tougher sentencing for offenders,greater government
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TRUDY LOUISE QUINLIVAN
31 yrs old (2011)
Sentenced Dec 2011, in the South Australian Supreme Court - The Court found the facts of Quinlivan's
offending had been established, but ruled her unfit to stand trial due to mental incompetence.
The Court imposed a 9 yr limiting term, a period of supervised psychiatric care comparable to a jail
sentence that might have been imposed had the woman gone to trial.
Quinlivan was released on licence under conditions she report regularly for drug testing and submit to psychiatric care.
Trudy Louise Quinlivan-Charged with 2 counts of aggravated endangering life and 3 counts of aggravated creating a risk of serious harm, over the abuse of five children.
Michael Quinlivan -
Luke Armistead -
Robert Armistead -
Tania Marie Staker.
Parafield Gardens 'House of Horrors' kids 'virtually unknown' to authorities
Six children subjected to starvation and torture in Adelaide's so-called House of Horrors case
were "virtually unknown'' to state authorities, it has emerged.
When police uncovered the Housing Trust home - where six adults and 21 children lived - they
said it was infested with swarms of cockroaches, flies and maggots, and faeces was found on the floor.
Today - five years after the shocking discovery of the abuse at the Parafield Gardens home - the government
released its response to 32 recommendations by the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee into the shocking case.
It received the recommendations in October last year.
Committee chairwoman Deej Eszenyi this morning said there was "almost no information known
about the children to state authorities'' until their condition was revealed in 2008.
Neither the committee's recommendations nor the government's response identify any of
the systematic failings by authorities to intervene in the child abuse.
However, at a press conference this morning, both Ms Eszenyi and Child Development
Minister Jennifer Rankine identified poor information-sharing practices between government
agencies as a major contributor.
Ms Rankine said no one government staff member or agency "had the full picture of information or
knew that the six children were in the house''.
Ms Eszenyi confirmed that no report was collated which brought together details of the case or how those involved acted.
"Our job is not to look for 'did anybody do anything wrong?','' she said.
"Something went very wrong for these children. The question is how do state authorities know that that is happening?''
Child protection expert Freda Briggs said better inter-agency and cross-state
communication would be key to improving child protection in future.
She criticised the lack of a report into the circumstances of the case.
"We are being deprived of information about what went wrong despite different agencies being
responsible for the children's situation,'' she said.
"The bottom line seems to be the claim that no-one did anything wrong ... rather
than providing an identification of what went wrong.''
The committee reviewed more than 200 documents, such as child truancy alerts and Housing
SA and health records, relating to all those who lived in the house but said there was
scarce evidence of the existence of the six children, who moved to Adelaide from Victoria
not long before the case was exposed.
Ms Rankine said no government worker had been sacked following the case.
She said the government had delayed the release of the recommendations because the
media would have criticised it for releasing them without a response.
Opposition child development spokesman David Pisoni said the government had spent the
seven months since it received the recommendations "preparing a political response''.
"The government has focused on covering up rather than fixing up,'' he said.
"The government must explain why it took seven months to release these recommendations and
what the recommendations were based on.''
When the government received the recommendations in October, a "high-level'' meeting of
Health, Education, Housing and Police ministers was convened, although Ms Rankine - who
was then Police Minister - had to pull out at the last minute and sent her chief of staff.
It was revealed in The Advertiser a welfare worker saw the conditions inside the house but did not raise the alarm .
However, Ms Rankine this morning said the worker did not sight the children and remained out the front of the house.
She said no disciplinary action was taken against the worker because she did not visit the house in the course of her work.
This is despite Ms Rankine stating everyone had a "moral" obligation to report child abuse if they witnessed it.
The government says legal considerations prevent it from revealing who was responsible, or specifically how the
system failed the five children (read their story here) who were starved, bashed and tortured at the Casuarina Drv home.
It was also not revealed if any public servant from any agency has been counselled,
reprimanded or sacked as a result of the committee's inquiry.
Five adults were convicted and jailed for the abuse and all the children were placed
under the guardianship of the Minister of Child Development.
In the government response, Ms Rankine said "the law requires that information disclosed
to the committee about individual cases be kept confidential''.
"In the five years since the case was discovered, the government has put in place
many measures to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again,'' Ms Rankine wrote.
The committee recommendations include that:
HOUSING SA staff receive additional training "about indicators of poor living conditions''
WHEN Housing SA receives complaints about poor living conditions it investigates whether children are living in these houses
THE education department "strengthen'' the reporting of children who fail to attend school once enrolled.
WHEN Families SA is notified of child neglect it "sights the children to confirm their well-being''.
ALL staff in hospitals and community health services complete Child Safe Environment training.
The government said it accepted these recommendations.
HOW THE HOUSE OF HORRORS TRAGEDY UNFOLDED
POLICE were alerted to the shocking neglect on June 22, 2008, when one of the
children was taken to hospital, starved and badly bruised.
THEY uncovered the "House of Horrors'' on Casuarina Drv at Parafield Gardens, where
six adults and 21 children were living.
POLICE described the house as abhorrent and the smell as putrid. It was infested with swarms
of cockroaches, flies and maggots, and faeces was found on the floor.
THE court heard shocking details of children being starved and abused while police described
the home as a prisoner of war camp.
FIVE people, including the children's mother, were found guilty of abuse and neglect
and given custodial sentences ranging from six to 10 years. A sixth person was found
not guilty by reason of mental incompetence.
'House of horrors' woman ordered into nine years of care
A woman involved in the "House of Horrors" child neglect case will serve nine years of mental health supervision in the community.
Trudy Louise Quinlivan, 31, appeared in the Supreme Court yesterday where a limiting term, similar to a jail term, was set for her role in the neglect of five children between February and June 2008.
Quinlivan previously was found mentally unfit to stand trial over allegations she and five other adults neglected children by starving them and forcing them to stand in line for days.
When they were allowed to eat the children were given only noodles, a handful of hot chips or dog food.
They were underweight and infected with scabies.
Justice John Sulan yesterday said Quinlivan should be released on licence into the community but be under the psychiatric care and supervision of the Department of Corrections for nine years. He imposed strict conditions that Quinlivan submit to regular drug tests and not contact the children at the centre of the crime that shocked the state. He ordered her to undergo development courses as advised by corrections officers, including instructions on parenting and employment skills.
The court had heard a doctor considered Quinlivan's intellectual capacity to be in the bottom 2.2 per cent of the population. Another said she was "strikingly child-like".
Lawyers for Quinlivan requested she be released on licence, not be committed to detention to allow her to obtain treatment and counselling.
Justice Kevin Duggan had found Quinlivan was mentally unfit to stand trial for the crimes.
There was evidence that proved "beyond reasonable doubt" she had been involved in the offences.
Quinlivan's sister, Tania Staker, was the mastermind behind the neglect as she was jealous the children involved were fathered by her then partner, Luke Armistead, and another woman.
Staker was jailed for 10 years.
Three men involved in the torture were jailed for nine years.
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House of horrors woman ordered into care
A woman found unfit to stand trial in Adelaide's "house of horrors" child abuse case has been ordered to undergo nine
years of psychiatric care and to stay away from the children she tormented.
Trudy Quinlivan was charged with two counts of aggravated endangering life and three counts of aggravated creating a risk
of serious harm over the abuse of five children.
In June, Justice Kevin Duggan found the facts of Quinlivan's offending had been established, but ruled the 31-year-old unfit
to stand trial due to mental incompetence.
In the South Australian Supreme Court today, Justice John Sulan imposed a nine-year limiting term - a period of supervised
psychiatric care comparable to a jail sentence that might have been imposed had the woman gone to trial.
He ordered Quinlivan be released on licence under conditions she report regularly for drug testing and submit to psychiatric care.
Justice Sulan also ordered Quinlivan not to contact any of her victims.
Quinlivan was one of six people charged over the abuse of the children, aged between four and seven, who were starved and
forced to stand in line for days on end.
The five siblings were among 21 children living in a house in Adelaide's northern suburbs in 2008. They were fed only scraps
of food over a four-month period.
The children were underweight, with open sores on their legs and ulcers on their feet, and were also infected with scabies.
They had been forced to stand in line with their hands on their heads and were fed just enough to keep them alive, risking
being slapped and choked if they tried to get more.
The children's mother was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to a string of charges including endangering life,
while four others were jailed for terms of up to 10 years for similar offences.
'House of horrors' Trudy Louise Quinlivan mental detention call
The "House of Horrors" adult deemed mentally unfit to stand trial should be in medical care for as
long as her partner is in jail, a court has heard.
Trudy Louise Quinlivan, 31, of Nuriootpa, was one of six adults charged over the criminal neglect
of five children between February and June 2008.
The Supreme Court previously found she was mentally unfit to stand trial and will now serve a period
in mental health detention, but not jail time.
In the Supreme Court, prosecutor Tali Costi said Quinlivan's limiting term - a period under mental
health supervision equals to a jail sentence - be the same as the sentence imposed on her partner,
Armistead was jailed for nine years with a non-parole period of six years.
"Ms Quinlivan's offending conduct is equivalent to that of her partner, Robert Armistead," Ms Costi said.
"A limiting term of about nine years is appropriate."
Quinlivan's sister, Tania Staker, was the "ring-leader" of the cruel regime that saw the children
ordered to stand facing a wall from the time they woke to the time they slept.
The children were given only noodles, a handful of chips or dog food when they were permitted to
eat and at times their hands and feet were bound with sticky tape to prevent them from stealing food.
Justice John Sulan adjourned Quinlivan's matter to consider the submissions.
The matter returns to court next week.
Court reveals the names of child abusers
A court has revealed the identities of four people who abused five young children in Adelaide, refusing the
siblings food and forcing them to stand in line all day.
Luke Andrew Armistead, Robert Armistead and Michael Benjamin Quinlivan were found guilty by a jury last week
while Tania Marie Staker pleaded guilty to the allegations before the start of their trial.
All four will be sentenced in the South Australian Supreme Court in relation to five charges, two counts of
aggravated acts endangering life and three counts of acts creating risk of serious harm.
At the start of the sentencing process on Wednesday, Justice Kevin Duggan said publication of their names would
not contravene any suppression orders imposed in relation to the case.
He also ruled that such publication would not risk identifying the victims who were siblings aged between four and seven.
The children had lived in squalor for about four months in 2008 with six adults and 16 other children, many of
them related to each other, in one house.
Their plight was discovered when a five-year-old boy collapsed.
He was admitted to hospital suffering malnutrition and hypothermia. His body temperature so low that he was
almost unconscious and needing help to breathe.
His siblings were also significantly underweight, had open sores on their legs or ulcers on the feet, were
infected with scabies and had suffered impaired growth.
Examinations revealed that their brains had shrunk due to a lack of proper nutrition.
During the three-week trial, the prosecution said the children had been forced to stand in line, sometimes
all day, with their hands on their head.
They had been fed just enough food to keep them alive and risked being slapped and choked if they tried to get more.
They sometimes resorted to hiding scraps between their toes.
Their mother has already been jailed for her part in the abuse.
On Wednesday, the court was told a number of psychological reports would be prepared ahead of sentencing
submissions on November 16.
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