DANIEL THOMAS INQUEST: Hecklers target Daniel’s mother

- Babysitter changed her story

DONNA Thomas was heckled as she arrived at Wangaratta court yesterday for the resumption of an inquest into the death of her son Daniel.

Ms Thomas was escorted into court by her partner, Colin Bilney, before the hecklers dispersed.

Mr Bilney, who began a relationship with Ms Thomas soon after Daniel’s death, gave evidence of information that she had given him.

It was described as an unfolding narrative over a period of about three years.

“Even today I am still asking questions about Daniel,” Mr Bilney told barrister Peter Chadwick SC, appearing for Mandy Martyn.

Mr Bilney made a statement to police in July 2007 which outlined what Ms Thomas had told him.

She believed her son was dead on Monday, October 13, 2003 when she saw him slumped over a bath, breathing shallowly.

Ms Thomas had told Mr Bilney she was in the lounge watching television when she heard three loud bangs from the bathroom.

When Ms Thomas checked on him, Daniel was purple and gasping for air.

There was a dent in his forehead and Mandy Martyn asked her to clean up some blood.

Mr Bilney said Ms Thomas had a feeling that Daniel was dead.

Daniel was taken to a bedroom and tied to bed slats. Ms Thomas did not check on him the next day before attending a nursing course at Shepparton on the Wednesday.

Mr Bilney said in his statement: “I have been wanting to get this off my chest for some time. I am sick of carrying this burden.”

He said in response to questions from Mr Chadwick that Ms Thomas at times ranted and raved when taking her medication.

Mr Bilney was told by a homicide detective to “keep an ear to the ground” when she was ranting and raving.

He said Ms Thomas was unable to remember what she said when in such a condition.

He had repeatedly asked for 10 years why Ms Thomas hadn’t stopped Ms Martyn’s abuse.

“She was petrified of Mandy,” Mr Bilney said.

Myrtleford woman Brenda Black said that she had visited a friend in September 2003 and Ms Martyn, Ms Thomas and Daniel were there.

“Mandy just constantly swore at Daniel and threatened him,” Ms Black said.

“I was shocked about the way Mandy threatened Daniel.”

Daniel who was on the floor watching television with his legs crossed had turned around when there was laughter.

His mother flicked him near the right temple and said: “I have told you not to look at adults.”

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