Three people have been charged with the manslaughter of Caboolture toddler Mason Lee. Photo: Supplied Emotions ran high outside the court as scores of people gathered to call for action over Mason’s death. Photo: Twitter/Ten/Lauren Day
Nanjing Night Net

Mason Lee’s mother has been incorrectly charged over her 21-month-old son’s manslaughter and will fight the charge, her lawyer says.

Anne Maree Lee is in custody after being charged with manslaughter alongside Mason’s stepfather William Andrew O’Sullivan and 17-year-old family friend Ryan Robert Barry Hodson.

Her lawyer, Brendan Ryan, said on Tuesday Ms Lee was grieving the loss of her son and should not have been charged with manslaughter.

“She will be fighting the charge of manslaughter,” Mr Ryan said outside Caboolture Magistrates Court where Ms Lee’s case was mentioned on Tuesday.

“The charge of manslaughter is the incorrect charge.”

Emotions ran high outside the court as scores of people gathered to call for action over Mason’s death.

Some clashed over claims of profiteering from T-shirts worn by those who turned out in support.

They chanted “accountability for Mason, we want justice”.

“We are all concerned – it’s not just Mason this is all in consideration of every Australian baby out there … We will fight to the end,” supporter Jennifer Hansell said.

Mason died from faecal peritonitis, the leakage of faecal matter into the abdominal cavity brought on by a perforated duodenum, the first part of small intestine, in a house in Caboolture on June 11.

In a police objection to bail affidavit relating to Ms Lee from July 29, it was alleged Ms Lee was aware of her son being seriously ill and did nothing to provide assistance, despite having the means to do so.

“The investigation has proven that Lee has come into contact with the deceased child whilst he is seriously ill…Despite this, Lee has made no attempt to provide assistance or make contact with persons who could provide assistance, despite having the means and knowledge to do so,” the affidavit read.

The police affidavit outlined a statement from Ms Lee to police on June 11, which said she had seen Mason on June 7 and June 9, during which time she allegedly noted he was “looking a little pale, quiet, red under the eyes but looked OK”.

In a forensic review of Mason’s body, from the police affidavit, doctors found Mason would have been displaying symptoms of vomiting and fever, that would have progressively worsened, over a five- to seven-day period from when his small intestine was perforated, which they estimated could have occurred no earlier than June 6.

In documents filed to the Supreme Court, police investigations found Ms Lee had told external agencies that she could not contact them because Mr O’Sullivan had restricted her from using a phone, despite police mobile phone reviews allegedly showing she was in possession of a phone in the week preceding the toddler’s death.

In a statement to police on July 15, Ms Lee said she was approached by a staff member at Best and Less on June 7, who commented that Mason did not look well.

Mr Hodson’s partner Sheila Low had allegedly told police that she had seen vomit on Mason’s face and hair on June 9.

Ms Low also allegedly told police when Ms Lee had asked for her help to get Mason back, she suggested contacting police, which Ms Low said was responded with “I’m no dog”.

Of the three charged over Mason’s death, Mr O’Sullivan and Ms Lee remain in custody, while Mr Hodson was granted bail by the Supreme Court last week.

Mr O’Sullivan’s case was also briefly mentioned in the Caboolture Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning.

Both Ms Lee and Mr O’Sullivan’s cases were adjourned for mention on September 28.

Medical timeline of Mason LeeAugust 16, 2014 – BornNovember 18, 2014 – admitted to Caboolture hospital with diagnosis of severe bronchiolitisJune 27, 2015 – presented at Morayfield Medical Centre for nappy rashJanuary 17, 2016 – presented to Morayfield Medical Centre in relation to large bruise on forehead, damaged lip and tender left shin. He was referred to Caboolture Hospital emergency department. There is no record he ever presented there.February 12, 2016 – seen by a National Home Doctor Service doctor for fever and swollen lower left leg. Mason was transferred to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, diagnosed with leg cellulitis, severe perianal necrotic wounds – superimposed with non-healing infection, recurrent mouth ulcers, normocytic anaemia and neglect concerns. Skeletal survey identified a healing spiral fracture of the left tibia.May 25, 2016 – attended Morayfield Road Medical Medical and Dental Centre for childhood immunisations, was noted the child was showing symptoms of fever.June 11, 2016 – pronounced dead at Caboolture South home.

– with Amy Mitchell-Whittington

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