22 Jun 2010

Caregiver guilty of preschooler's death

7:40 pm on 22 June 2010

A woman has been found guilty of the murder of a three-year-old boy placed in her care.

Dylan Rimoni died in Starship Hospital in April 2008 after suffering serious head injuries.

His foster mother Patricia Pickering was found not guilty of two additional charges of causing grievous bodily harm and assault.

It took the jury of six women and six men about nine hours over two days to reach their majority verdict on the murder charge. The jury retired shortly before 1pm on Monday.

After the verdict was read out she broke down into loud sobs, crying out "They've got it wrong, they've got it wrong."

The child's biological family say they are too overwhelmed to make any comment.

The boy was placed in Pickering's care as part of an informal adoption arrangement shortly after his third birthday.

The Crown said soon after that the boy began receiving regular beatings.

The defence said he suffered his injuries after falling from his trampoline.

It is the second time Pickering has faced trial. An earlier trial was aborted when a key medical witness fell ill.

She will be sentenced at the end of next month.