Mandy Martyn surfaces ... in court

Mandy Martyn

Mandy Martyn

MANDY Martyn has made her first public appearance since an inquest found her responsible for the death of Myrtleford toddler Daniel Thomas.

That appearance was at Wangaratta Court on an unrelated family matter involving two of her three children.

The Thoona woman has kept a low-profile following Coroner Jacinta Heffey’s ruling a fortnight ago that the injuries Ms Martyn caused to the 2½-year-old led to his death in 2003.

Ms Martyn, Daniel’s babysitter, has made no comment on the inquest and did not appear at court during those proceedings — she was excused from giving evidence on the grounds she may incriminate herself.

Yesterday she maintained that silence, refusing to comment on the Thomas case when approached outside the courthouse by the media.

Instead, she called reporters “stinking parasites” and told them to “f--- off, dogs”.

Inside the court, magistrate Stella Stuthridge was told of the difficult domestic dispute — initially brought to court by police, not the family — between Ms Martyn and her children, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons.

Ms Martyn’s son was seeking to prevent his mother visiting the house he shares with his sister, with his solicitor Nancy Battiato telling the court things “got out of hand” when she visited.

His sister disagreed and wanted Ms Martyn to continue to be allowed access.

Ms Martyn sat beside her daughter in the courtroom, her arm slung around her while her son sat alone at the other end of the bench.

The matter was unresolved and Ms Stuthridge ordered all parties to return to court today for further discussions.

Daniel Thomas went missing in October 2003 and his remains were found five years later buried under the Myrtle-ford house where his mother, Donna Thomas, used to live.

Ms Martyn has remained the prime suspect in the case; she has been arrested and questioned in the past but never charged.

Both children gave evidence to the inquest, with each saying they remembered little of Daniel and the days leading up to his disappearance and that they believed their mother was innocent.