South Australian mom accused of son’s legal neglect remanded in custody, pending enchantment towards bail

A South Australian woman charged with the criminal neglect of her two-year-old son is granted home-detention bail by an Adelaide court but will not be released from prison for now, after police seek a review of the magistrate’s decision.

Key points:

  • Emma Short is accused of the criminal neglect of her son
  • The boy was brought to a doctor last week suffering serious injuries
  • Ms Short will remain in custody pending a Supreme Court appeal against her home-detention bail

Emma Jade Short, 34, of Freeling, appeared in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court via video link from prison on Friday afternoon and could be heard sobbing throughout the hearing.

Ms Short is accused of criminally neglecting her youngest son, but the court heard she had not been charged with directly injuring him.

Police have previously alleged the two-year-old was brought to the Blair Athol Medical Clinic on August 8 with serious burns to his face and bruises.

He was then taken to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where he remained for nine days.

The prosecution told the court today it was their case that Ms Short was aware of the abuse — or put the child in a position where abuse could occur — at an Adelaide motel.

The medical clinic where the boy was brought with burns to his face.(ABC News: Matthew Smith)

However, Ms Short’s lawyer, David Moen, told the court his client could not have burned her son in the three minutes she was at the motel.

“There’s no way she could have held this child in a shower and burned and scalded this child, let alone boil a kettle,” the lawyer said.

Magistrate Justin Wickens granted Ms Short home-detention bail, but the prosecution has sought a review in the Supreme Court on Monday, so she will not be able to leave prison.

The accused’s mother and sister told the court that, if Ms Short was granted bail, they would inform the police if they became aware of any contact between Ms Short and her children.

Outside court, Mr Moen said he would be defending his client’s charges “as much as we can”.

Ms Short’s partner — who is also the boy’s uncle — is also charged with criminal neglect of the child.

He is in custody until his next appearance in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in December.

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