A paranoid dad has been jailed after his three-year-old daughter was shot dead by her younger brother after a sawn-off shotgun was left on the bed in their home.
The girl’s father, who can not be named for legal reasons, had hidden a sawn-off shotgun in their Sydney home.
He had believed the family’s lives were under threat, and bought the gun to protect them.
But in 2017 his three-year-old daughter was shot dead with the weapon.
Police suspect the child’s younger brother discovered the weapon on his parents’ bed and picked up the gun to play with his little sister.
The girl was shot in the neck and rushed to hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
In a heartbreaking victim impact statement, the little girl’s mum said her “life as a mother is now over”.
She said: “I lost all my children that night.
“Because he had controlled and manipulated and scared me for so long FACS (Family and Community Services) didn’t think I could safely protect my children.
“I am now 44 and my life as I knew it as a mother is now over.
“She would be at school now if she was still alive… I used to dream of the day she would grow into a beautiful young woman.”
Judge Stephen Hanley told Parramatta District Court: “She was entitled to expect a degree of safety while in the family home. He eliminated and abused that trust.”
Jailing the man, he said there was no evidence that the family’s lives were under threat, and the father was breaching an Apprehended Violence Order by being at the house.
Despite the maximum sentence he could have imposed being 25-years, the man was jailed for five-years.
The judge accepted the father has been deeply affected by his child’s death and remorseful.
He added the guilt of being responsible for his daughter’s death is a life sentence in itself.