Disturbing details emerge about allegations against X-Factor star accused of murdering baby girl he was babysitting – and the shocking comment he allegedly made about her

An X-Factor star accused of fatally assaulting a nine-month-old girl he was babysitting allegedly described the baby as a ‘spoilt brat’, a court has heard.

Mitchell Callaway, 37, was granted Supreme Court bail on a $600,000 surety on Tuesday after being charged with the infant’s murder. It was his last-ditch bid for freedom after a previous application was rejected in the Coffs Harbour local court.

Appearing via videolink dressed in prison greens, Callaway, 37, appeared despondent throughout the hearing as he stared down at his hands and occasionally used an asthma puffer. 

The court heard police will allege Callaway fatally assaulted the baby while babysitting her at a Binnaway home, in Central West NSW, on 23 July, 2018. 

Mitchell Callaway, 37, is pictured performing on hit television series, X Factor.  He starred in the show in 2011 – its third season – and finished seventh

The Crown will allege that she suffered blunt force trauma to her head, bruises on her scalp, and genital injuries. 

Police will allege Callaway had been caring for the girl at the time of her death and the day before – the timeframe during which experts believe the injuries were sustained. 

Callaway also allegedly made an admission to the girl’s mother in November 2018 that he ‘didn’t mean to hurt her’ and has a history of ‘spontaneous aggression’. 

The court heard the baby’s mother has previously taken AVOs out against Callaway. 

Prosecutors will argue jealousy was a possible motive. ‘He… would call her [the baby] derogatory names like “spoiled brat”,’ Crown prosecutor Kim Gourlie said. 

When Ms Gourlie made that comment, Callaway could be seen shaking his head in annoyance.  

However, the defence will argue that other medical experts dispute that the injuries directly caused the cardiac arrest.

They will argue that post-mortem examinations found the girl’s brain had suffered no traumatic injuries, despite the skull fracture. 

Callaway’s lawyer Nicholas Broadbent noted one expert pathologist had found the skull fracture could have been inflicted in the time shortly before her death or up to a week earlier and the other injuries caused during later efforts to resuscitate her. 

Mr Broadbent also argued Callaway’s alleged admission, which occurred during a car accident Callaway was involved in during November 2018, was ‘ambiguous’ and there was ‘dispute over what was said.’

The court heard new evidence that lead to the singer’s arrest on June 8 at a home in Bowraville, on the NSW Mid North Coast, was expert testimony about how the little girl’s injuries could be linked to her death. 

The little girl (pictured) suffered blunt force trauma injuries to her head, the court heard

The little girl (pictured) suffered blunt force trauma injuries to her head, the court heard 

The new expert testimony came to light during a coronial inquest into the girl’s death which was heard between December 2022 to April 2023. 

Callaway’s lawyer told the court a new expert has since provided further evidence that undermines whether the head injuries caused her death. 

Justice Stephen Campbell conceded that the medical evidence was ‘highly disputed’ within the scientific community, but he rejected the defence’s argument that meant the crown’s case was weak. 

‘I think the force of circumstances is such that it is a respectable case and that the charge of murder is justified,’ he said. 

‘The evidence indicates injury to the baby consistent with the infliction of blunt force trauma, either accidentally or deliberately. 

‘Given the death of [the little girl] while in [his] sole custody and the evidence of the infliction of trauma, the applicant is a natural person of interest into the manner and cause of [her] death.’

However, Justice Campbell noted it would take until 2025 before the case went to trial and it was not certain he would be convicted. 

Callaway is pictured being arrested by detectives on the NSW Mid North Coast in June

Callaway is pictured being arrested by detectives on the NSW Mid North Coast in June 

As he announced bail would be granted, Callaway cheered ‘yes’ and began sobbing – only to be immediately told off for making noise in court.

‘Please be quiet! Solemn court proceedings are in order,’ Justice Campbell said.

Under his bail conditions, Callaway must live at his parents home in Bowraville, report daily to police, surrender his expired passport, and must abide by a 7.30pm-6am curfew.

He must also comply with any AVOs, cannot contact witnesses, not consume alcohol or drugs, not enter any premises where alcohol is sold, and not go within 500m of any international departure point. 

Paramedics were called to the property on July 23, 2018 after the girl’s caregiver allegedly returned and found her unconscious.

The baby was rushed to hospital, but later died. 

After receiving new information, officers investigating the baby’s death executed a search warrant at a home in Binnaway, in the state’s central-west, on May 31.

Following further inquiries, detectives working under Strike Force King arrested and charged Callaway with murder a week later, marking the end of a five-year police investigation.

The court heard Callaway was arrested after new expert testimony was delivered at a coronial inquest earlier this year

The court heard Callaway was arrested after new expert testimony was delivered at a coronial inquest earlier this year

Images from the arrest shows the former X-Factor contestant being led from the home in handcuffs while surrounded by several detectives.

At the time of Callaway’s arrest, the baby’s mother shared a heartbreaking tribute to her little girl. 

‘She has been the reason I have continued to fight, live and have made it this far,’ the mother said in a statement.

‘Not a day goes by that I do not miss you and wish you were here. This doesn’t bring you back but it does bring you some peace and the justice you deserve. Forever my little girl.

‘Mummy loves you.’

Callaway was a contestant on season three of X-Factor Australia TV show in 2011 and placed 7th in the competition.

The former singer was booted in week six after failing to outperform fellow contestant Johnny Ruffo, who placed 3rd in the competition and went on to sign a recording contact with Sony Music Australia.

Callaway auditioned for the show with Keith Urban’s song Tonight I Wanna Cry.

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