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- Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell
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Baby killer Mervyn Bell found dead in Perth prison cell
A convicted child killer has been found dead inside his cell in a Perth prison.
Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell, who received a life sentence for the murder, sexual
assault and torture of baby Charlie Mullaley, was found dead inside a Casuarina Prison cell on Tuesday.
The death was reported to police at 12.30pm.
A police spokesman said the death was under investigation but Bell was believed to have taken his own life.
In December last year, Bell was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison over the
death of baby Charlie in March 2013.
Bell was in a relationship with the child’s mother at the time and took
Charlie from her after brutally bashing her in a Broome street.
He then went on a 15-hour drive through the Kimberley with Charlie.
The judge found Bell had beat, burnt and sexually assaulted Charlie
before carrying his lifeless body into a roadhouse.
Bell was attacked while in Albany Regional Prison in June last year awaiting trial for Charlie’s death.
He was hit from behind and suffered a fractured skull, then was reportedly
attacked for a second time when he returned to his cell.
Inmates Malcolm Yarran and Lawrence Watt were on trial in
August over the incident, charged with causing Bell grievous bodily harm, however
both men were found not guilty.
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Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell sentenced for bashing partner before murdering her baby son
A convicted baby murderer serving a life jail term for his “evil” crimes has been
sentenced to almost five years for a brutal and “humiliating” attack on the
child’s mother just before he disappeared with the infant.
Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell, 27, pleaded guilty to grievous
bodily harm for an attack on his de facto partner Tamica Mullaley in March 2013.
The couple were drinking at a friend’s house when they began arguing,
resulting in Bell chasing Ms Mullaley into street, punching and kicking
her while she was on the ground and tearing her clothes and underwear off, leaving her naked.
After Ms Mullaley refused to leave with him, Bell took his partner’s 10-month-old son Charlie.
Bell was sentenced late last year to a life jail term with a minimum of 27 years
for Charlie’s murder - described by a judge as the worst crime in WA in a decade.
He sexually abused, beat and burnt Charlie – inflicting horrific injuries – during
a 15-hour road trip through the Kimberley before carrying the boy’s lifeless body into a roadhouse.
In Bell’s sentencing on Friday, the District Court was told Ms Mullaley suffered
internal injuries, including a deep laceration to her kidney, as well as cuts and bruising.
Ms Mullaley discharged herself from hospital the next day in a bid to find her
child, but had to be readmitted after learning her son had died.
Judge Patrick O’Neal said the attack on Ms Mullaley was prolonged and persistent.
“It wasn’t enough for you to just assault her, you also needed to humiliate her,
which you did by stripping her naked and then continuing to assault her, to punch
her and to kick her,” the judge told Bell.
“As Ms Mullaley recognises, however, the trauma
caused by the physical injuries that you inflicted is
overshadowed by the horror of the fact that you murdered her child.”
Judge O’Neal said the “disturbing” reports about Bell indicated a high-risk of reoffending.
He imposed a four year and 10 month jail term for the attack on Ms Mullaley,
making it concurrent so it did not mean any extra time behind bars for Bell.
The court was told Bell is appealing against his life jail term for murder.
When he was sentenced for Charlie’s murder, then-Supreme Court Justice John
McKechnie said: “About once every 10 years there’s a crime so evil that it shocks the public.”
Bell was also sentenced to three years for the sexual assault on Charlie, to be served concurrently.
After Bell’s murder sentencing, Ms Mullaley said she had struggled to move on from the
death of her happy and loving “Charlie Boy”, but tried to be strong for her other children.
She hoped Bell would never be released.
“Words cannot comprehend the pain, the hurt
and how grief-stricken a mother feels. My son was murdered. Instead
of watching him grow up we go and visit Charlie Boy at his grave every birthday,”
Ms Mullaley told the Supreme Court in a victim impact statement.
A prosecutor said the treatment of Charlie could only be described as “torture”.
Bell had claimed the child’s injuries were caused when he fell out of a moving
car going through a roundabout, by hot rocks at a river and accidentally falling into water.
But Justice McKechnie rejected those as lies, finding him guilty at the end of a judge-alone trial.
Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell sentenced in the WA Supreme Court
The man who murdered baby Charlie Mullaley has been sentenced to a minimum of 27 years behind bars.
Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell must serve 27 years before he can be eligible for parole after Justice
John McKechnie handed down his sentence in the WA Supreme Court.
Bell was also given a three-year jail term for the sexual assault, to be served concurrently with
his life sentence.
Justice McKechnie had found Bell guilty of murdering the little boy in September. The 27-year-old
can not be considered for release until 2040.
Outside court, Charlie’s mother Tamica told reporters while the sentence was “still not great” she
remained hopeful Bell “may never be released with the law system changing every day”.
“It was horrible (sitting through the trial) I had to leave most of the time and be with my family.”
She said she struggles to move on from her baby’s death.
“But I have to be strong for my other children,” Ms Mullaley said.
The mother-of-two said she would remember “Charlie Boy” as a loving and happy child.
“He was so advanced for his age and he didn’t want for anything, he was just a happy baby,” Ms
In his sentencing remarks, Justice McKechnie said: “About once every 10 years there’s a crime
so evil that it shocks the public.”
He refered to Dante Arthurs — the youth who murdered eight-year-old Sophia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu in
a Perth shopping centre toilet cubicle in December 2003.
Justice McKechnie said the murder of 10-month-old Charlie would probably affect the public
in the same way.
He said Bell had taken Charlie to hurt Ms Mullaley.
Just before delivering the sentence, Justice McKechnie told Bell: “It would be up to the next
generation to determine if you are safe to re-enter their society.”
Bell was in a relationship with Ms Mullaley in March 2013 and took Charlie from her after
brutally bashing her in a Broome street.
He then went on a 15-hour drive through the Kimberley with Charlie.
Justice McKechnie found Bell had beat, burnt and sexually assaulted Charlie before carrying
his lifeless body into a roadhouse.
Family’s agony over murder of ‘Charlie Boy’
Earlier on Friday, Ms Mullaley revealed her incomprehensible heartache as a judge considers
the killer’s sentence.
Prosecutor Amanda Forrester read out the victim impact statements of Ms Mullaley and Charlie’s
grandfather Ted to the court ahead of the sentencing.
During the hearing Justice McKechnie granted permission for the boy to be named and his photograph used.
During sentencing submissions, the court heard Ms Mullaley wrote, “Words cannot comprehend the pain,
the hurt and how grief-stricken a mother feels.
“My son was murdered. Instead of watching him grow up we go and visit his Charlie Boy at his grave
Ms Mullaley said she was suffering profound depression and anxiety, but could not take medication
because of a newborn child.
She said she has lost trust in men being near her children, including their own fathers.
Her eldest son has also become overly protective of his newborn sibling and often asks Ms Mullaley
why Bell “took my baby”.
The baby’s grandfather wrote in his statement he felt responsible for the boy’s death.
Ms Mullaley had asked her father to babysit Charlie that night, but because the boy had a cold,
Mr Mullaley told her to take her out with him.
“I now feel if I had babysat Charlie Boy, he would still be alive today,” he wrote.
“He was a lovely kid, always happy.
“The impact of the incident has torn through my family.
“My daughter is not the same, that beautiful soul is starting to diminish.
“My daughter is grief-stricken and I feel powerless, I do not know what to do.”
Counsel for Bell told the court the 27-year-old had suffered a traumatic childhood.
He lost his father to a shooting accident when he was seven months old and then his
mother when he was five.
Before her death, her mother had been in a violent relationship with a man that beat
her, Bell’s sister and even struck Bell to the head with a hammer.
When his mother died, Bell did not speak for three months.
As he grew older, he turned to drugs and showed violence to his partners.
Ms Forrester told Justice McKechnie the treatment of Charlie could only be described as “torture”.
“He had Charlie for 15 hours, during which Charlie suffered the most grievous of injuries,” she said.
Bell, 27, pleaded not guilty to murdering the baby and faced a two week judge-alone trial.
During the trial, the court heard the cause of death could not be ascertained, but the baby
had suffered a broken arm and leg, third-degree burns on parts of his body, and severe bruising
on his genitals and anus.
Bell had claimed the child’s injuries were caused when he fell out of a moving car going
through a roundabout, hot rocks by a river, accidentally falling into water.
In finding Bell guilty, Justice McKechnie said Bell’s claims the baby had fallen from a car
seat were a “lie” and that rocks had caused his burns was “unbelievable”.
He also said Bell had showed a “callous disregard for (the child’s) health and safety”.
Baby bashed, burnt and raped, court told as Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell stands trial
The mother of a baby boy who died after he was allegedly beaten, raped and burned has
described the violent hours leading to her son’s death.
Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell went on trial in the Supreme Court today, pleading
not guilty to murdering and sexually assaulting the baby last year.
He is accused of taking the 10-month-old child away from his mother in
Broome and assaulting him over a 15-hour period before taking his body
to the Fortescue River Road House on March 19 last year.
The boy’s mother was the first witness to take the stand,
describing how Bell beat her naked in a Broome street. She
also tearfully recalled the moment police told her the boy had died.
The mother, 28, told the court she went with Bell at his cousin’s house
where they were all drinking. A verbal argument started and the woman
left for a friend’s house three doors down and then returned, only to
find the group still arguing.
As she started walking back towards her friend’s home, Bell hit her from behind.
“He bashed the s*** out of me,” she said.
The court was told Bell had ripped the clothes off the mother-of-two,
pummelling her while she lay naked on the street.
He then allegedly got into a car and “went to run me over” the woman said,
before a neighbour appeared and stopped him.
The mother was admitted to hospital with a ruptured spleen and
kidneys and fractures to her collar bone and ribs.
While she was in hospital, her father tried to collect the baby from a friend’s house.
But when he arrived at the hospital to see her the next morning, he told her the baby was missing.
That morning, police told her the child was being taken to Karratha Hospital.
As the woman, her father and older son were about to leave for Karratha, she was again visited by police.
“I knew from their faces when they got out of the car ... then they said it,
that he had passed away,” she said.
During her opening address, prosecutor Amanda
Forrester said the injuries to the child could only have been intentional.
“There could not have been any other intent but to kill,” Ms Forrester said.
“If he had not intended to kill, he intended to cause harm.”
Bell’s counsel did not make an opening address to Justice John McKechnie in the judge-only trial,
which continues this week.
Mervyn Bell’s WA Supreme Court trial told how baby boy’s injuries were in areas ‘rarely’ hurt
A 10-month-old boy suffered burns in areas that were “rarely injured” a Perth court has been told.
Burns consultant Suzanne Rea analysed the injuries of a baby who died after he was taken from
his mother in Broome and driven by Mervyn Kenneth Douglas Bell on a 15-hour journey that ended
at Fortescue River Roadhouse in March last year.
Mr Bell is fighting charges of murder and sexual assault of the child in a
judge-alone Supreme Court trial before Justice John McKechnie.
The 27-year-old told police that the baby fell out of a moving car
on the night they left Broome and burns were from the child being placed
on hot rocks when they went down to a river.
Today, Dr Rea said the baby boy had numerous injuries
that were likely to be burns on his chest, inner left thigh and
the sole of his right foot that were “deep” and “rarely” found on children in those areas of the body.
She said an injury on the child’s buttocks also resembled a scolding, like a liquid
had been poured or splashed onto the boy.
Dr Rea said while there were some injuries
consistent with road trauma, such as an abrasion down almost the length
of the baby’s outer right leg, it was “difficult to attribute” all of the
injuries “to falling out of a vehicle”.
“The injuries are different, they appear
different in their appearance and there may be a difference
in terms of the timing (of the injuries occurring),” she said.
Dr Rea told the court there were signs of infection on several wounds.
She also said several of the injuries would have been life-threatening had they occurred on their own.
Dr Rea rejected defence lawyer John Myers’ suggestion the injuries
could have been made from sunburn or that CPR attempts could have made the chest injury appear worse.
The trial continues.
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