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Prosecutors Call Daniela Dawes Sentence "Manifestly Inadequate"
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 1, 2004

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--The New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions on Tuesday said the office would appeal the recent non-custodial sentence given Daniela Dawes, who admitted killing her son, Jason.

Dawes could have received a 25-year-sentence, but was released in early June on a five-year behavior bond, similar to probation, after a judge had changed her murder charge to manslaughter. The judge said Dawes "had suffered enough" and that no sentence he could give would compare to the punishment she would continue to inflict upon herself.

Ten-year-old Jason had autism.

Dawes had admitted pinching closed Jason's nose and mouth until he suffocated to death on August 4, 2003. She said she was experiencing depression and marital stress at the time. Jason's disability, however, was not the reason for her depression, she explained.

The DPP described the sentence as "manifestly inadequate" and filed an appeal in the Court of Criminal Appeal against the non-custodial sentence. A hearing date is expected to be set next week.

Dawes said she was "very, very scared and very confused" and didn't understand why the appeal had been lodged.

Craig Dawes, her estranged husband, told the Daily Telegraph that he believed public opinion had influenced the DDP's decision.

"I believe it's pure public outrage," Mr. Dawes said Tuesday.


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