Father, stepmother accused of murdering toddler Willow Dunn charged with additional child cruelty offences


Key points:

  • Mark James Dunn and Shannon Leigh White are yet to enter a plea
  • Both have been charged with an additional count of child cruelty
  • The Queensland Family and Child Commission is investigating Willow's death

The father and stepmother of a four-year-old girl, who was found dead inside her Brisbane home, are facing fresh child cruelty charges more than a month after being accused of her murder.

Emergency services discovered the body of Willow Dunn at her home in Cannon Hill in May.

Police have alleged the toddler, who had Down Syndrome, died about two days before she was found.

A post-mortem examination concluded Willow was experiencing "serious malnourishment" and other health issues "that indicated sustained mistreatment".

Willow's father, Mark James Dunn and her stepmother, Shannon Leigh White, were charged with the child's alleged murder shortly after her death and have been remanded in custody since.

Mr Dunn and Ms White, both 43, were each charged with an additional count of child cruelty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday.

Ms White was also charged with possessing dangerous drugs.

The pair are yet to enter a plea to the freshly laid charges.

Both cases are expected to return to court in October.

Willow's death is one of two cases of alleged child neglect that are being independently investigated by the Queensland Family and Child Commission.

A report of the commission's findings is expected to be handed to Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath later this year.

Ms D'Ath will then decide whether to release it to the public.

(Source)


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