The mother and grandfather of murdered baby Charlie Mullaley – who was abducted, sexually assaulted, and tortured by the woman’s partner – have been pardoned and apologized for the way police treated them.
In a statement to the Western Australian Parliament, Attorney General John Quigley pardoned Tamica and Ted Mullaley and apologized for the police’s handling of the situation after the child was abducted by Mervyn Bell in March 2013.
Bell, 27, brutally attacked Mrs. Mullaley in Broome, leaving her bleeding and naked on the side of the road.
He then took the 10-month-old boy from a nearby house and inflicted shocking injuries on the baby over 15 hours.
Camera icon Murder victim Charlie Mullaley was brutally tortured. Facebook Memorial Page Credit: Included
During Bell’s trial, the WA Supreme Court heard that Charlie had suffered burns, fractures, bruises, and several other horrific injuries.
By the time Bell took him to the Fortescue Roadhouse near Karratha the next day, Charlie was already dead.
Judge John McKechnie said in sentencing that it was one of the worst cases he had encountered, adding that once every 10 years, there was a crime so bad it shocked the public.
Ms. Mullaley had pleaded with the police to help her, but she was handcuffed and sent to the hospital, where she was later convicted of assaulting and obstructing the police.
Her father’s pleas were also ignored, and he was later convicted of obstructing the police.
Mr. Quigley said Ms. Mullaley “went through the unthinkable” and should have been treated better as a victim of domestic violence.
“On behalf of the WA government, to Tamica and Ted, I am sorry for how you were treated by the WA government and police, both before and after the loss of baby Charlie,” Mr. Quigley said Wednesday.
Camera Icon Mervyn Bell faced a judge only for murder, as the case was considered too graphic for a jury. Credit: Included
“Granting such a pardon is truly an exceptional step. It is so amazing that I have not been able to find a case in the modern history of WA where such a pardon has been granted.
“This grace is a show of mercy that has been a long time coming for Tamica and Ted.
“As a government and state, we must recognize… that the response at the time was clearly inadequate.
“I am truly sorry. You deserved much better from the police and from the government. We’re sorry.”
Mrs. Mullaley said the apology meant a lot.
“You can tell by someone’s voice if they mean something, and I think they’ve now heard the real truth about what happened nine years ago,” she told reporters.
After he was found guilty, Bell was sentenced to life behind bars with a minimum of 27 years.
He committed suicide in Casuarina Prison in September 2015, triggering an inquest into his death.
But no inquest into Charlie was granted.
A Corruption and Crime Commission investigation found that some officers had received a delayed response, but it was impossible to know whether a faster response could have changed Charlie’s outcome.