Childcare worker is jailed for six years over the death of a three-year-old boy who was found dead on a school bus
A former childcare worker has been sentenced to six years jail for the manslaughter of a three-year-old boy found on a school bus in Cairns, north Queensland.
Michael Glenn Lewis was handed down the sentence on Wednesday and will be eligible for parole in 18 months.
Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo, known as Meeky, was found still strapped in a baby car seat after being left on a minibus at Goodstart Early Learning in Edmonton, near Cairns, on a hot day last February.
Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo, known as Meeky, was found still strapped in a baby car seat on a minibus at Goodstart Early Learning in Edmonton, near Cairns.
Bus driver and manager Lewis, 45, and Goodstart employee Dionne Batrice Grills, 34, were charged with manslaughter over the toddler’s death.
Ms Grills appeared in Cairns Courthouse in January where her manslaughter charge was dropped after Magistrate Kevin Priestly found she did not have duty of care for the child.
Mr Priestly said a reasonable jury would not find her guilty based on the evidence as there ‘was a possibility and probability’ she left the bus first, leaving duty of care to Mr Lewis.
Police had alleged the pair collected Meeky and brought him to the centre earlier in the day but didn’t bring him inside with them.
Cairns Magistrates Court previously heard Mr Lewis allegedly told ambulance officer Jeremy Neal: ‘I can’t believe I have done this,’ Cairns Post reported.
He then allegedly said: ‘I thought I’d done the headcounts. I have had meetings all day. I thought there was a funny smell in the car when I was driving to the school’.
Mr Neal also claimed Mr Lewis said ‘I’ll never see my kids again. What’s going to happen now? They’re going to come and kill me. My boss said don’t talk to the police’.
Ambulance officer James Andrews claimed Mr Lewis repeatedly said his life would be ‘over,’ and expressed sadness that his ‘best mate’ had died.
Goodstart Early Learning overhauled its procedures in the wake of the tragedy in Cairns.