CHILD killer Warren Ross faces a possible life sentence over the murder of toddler Tanilla-Warrick Deaves.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is understood to be seeking the maximum penalty available to the court, along with the standard non-parole period of 25 years for anyone found guilty of murdering a child.
As sentencing submissions were made yesterday, Tanilla's father Adrian Warrick and his partner Brooke Bowen were sickened by the news coming from the NSW Supreme Court.
The couple, who sat through weeks of horrific evidence at Ross's trial last year, are furious at the suggestion that his part in Tanilla's murder - caused by a final blow to the head following months of sustained torture - did not fall into what defence barrister Sarah McNaughton described as the "worst" category.
Referring to the hours Tanilla's unconscious, broken body remained strapped in a pram at the couple's Central Coast home, Ms McNaughton argued Ross was "not the only" person who could have rescued her.
He is a coward. A coward who bashed and killed a defenceless two-year-old girl and he deserves everything he gets
- Brooke Bowen, partner of Tanilla's father Adrian Warrick
She said Tanilla's biological mother Donna Deaves, who is serving 12 years for manslaughter, could have stepped in and saved her daughter.
She also submitted the contents of a psychological report, which suggests Ross has been "behaving" since he stopped using cannabis and insisted her client had simply lost control the night he threw Tanilla against a shower wall.
The Crown maintained the murder was not spontaneous and followed months of misery.
The court previously heard Tanilla was regularly whipped with a power cord as punishment for being slow to toilet train and forced to run laps around the family home until she collapsed from exhaustion.
Despite harrowing accounts from neighbours Ross maintained Tanilla's bruises were sustained in a trampoline accident and a fall from a chest of drawers. He claimed they had put Tanilla to bed and discovered her unconscious later in the night.
In a police interview played in court, Ross sobs and goes as far to claim the toddler's final words on the night of her death were "goodnight Daddy, I love you".
The jury found Tanilla had been left unconscious in her pram for two days before Ross called 000.
When the guilty verdict was read out, Ross lashed out at reporters and Tanilla's supporters in the public gallery.
Jurors sobbed and were offered counselling.
The room fell silent when, at a sentencing hearing earlier this year, Ross looked across the room at Tanilla's father and called him "a dog".
Mr Warrick had called on NSW Chief Justice Stephen Rothman to impose a life sentence for the murder of his daughter.
Rising to Ross's challenge, he stared him down and asked what his daughter could have possibly done to warrant a punishment "so harsh that you took her life".
Speaking to The Northern Star last night Ms Bowen said she hoped Justice Rothman would see Ross for the "coward he is" and show no mercy.
"He cost the State Government millions of dollars to run a six-week trial, threatened witnesses, when he knew all along he did it," Ms Bowen said
"He is a coward. A coward who bashed and killed a defenceless two-year-old girl and he deserves everything he gets."
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