Shock twist in case of girl, 15, accused of killing her 10-year-old cousin on her farm in a crime so shocking we can’t tell you the details as she tries to escape murder charge
- The alleged teenage killer asked to plead guilty to manslaughter
- She had originally made a ‘not guilty’ plea at an earlier court appearance
- The trial of the 15-year-old accused will take place in Sydney in November
- The alleged crime shocked the NSW country town of Gunnedah last year
- The 10-year-old’s father later posted a touching tattoo tribute to his daughter
A 15-year-old girl alleged to have stabbed her younger cousin to death on a country property has asked to plead guilty to manslaughter rather than murder.
Details of the crime were considered so gruesome that a local magistrate suppressed details of the case when it first came to court last year.
The schoolgirl, who was 14 at the time, is alleged to have stabbed her 10-year-old cousin when the younger girl came to stay with her uncle and aunt on a farm in Gunnedah, north-west New South Wales, on July 8 last year.
The girl appeared via video link before NSW Supreme Court Justice Robert Hulme on Friday, asking to change her plea from ‘not guilty’.
‘Not guilty, but guilty of manslaughter, your honour,’ she said.
The prosecution led by David Scully indicated it would not accept her plea to the lesser charge.
The girl’s trial was set for November 15, 2021.
Police at the scene of the crime when the then 14-year-old schoolgirl was arrested in July 2020. On Friday she asked a NSW Supreme Court judge to plead guilty to manslaughter, rather than murder
Police search the area near the farm in Gunnedah where the 10-year-old girl was allegedly stabbed to death by her cousin
The farming community of Gunnedah in north-western NSW was shocked by the alleged crime
The trial will take place without a jury after a successful application by the girl’s legal team for a judge-only proceeding.
The schoolgirl’s defence team said her acts were not in dispute but that mental impairment or mental illness may be raised to support the manslaughter plea.
Her barrister Stuart Bouveng said admissibility of the police interview with the girl might also be challenged at trial.
The alleged crime shocked the Gunnedah community, with the first police officer on the scene understood to have later taken leave as a result of what he saw at the property.
The older girl’s mother checked on both girls in a bedroom after returning from doing work on the farm when she discovered the younger cousin with substantial lacerations and her daughter missing.
The alleged killer was later found on a neighbouring property, dazed and confused, having walked three kilometres across a wheat field with the sharp weapon allegedly still in her hand.
Local police also spent a number of days combing wheat and cotton paddocks near the property for clues.
It was also reported the teenager had been suspended from her local high school for throwing scissors at a classmate in the days before the incident.
The 10-year-old’s father posted a touching tribute of a tattoo he got in his daughter’s honour last year
The alleged victim was considered a talented artist, as reflected in her father’s online tribute
A social media post by the alleged victim’s father last year displayed a tattoo of a cherry blossom on his upper arm as a tribute to a drawing made by his daughter, a talented artist.
‘Cherry blossom tattoos are a metaphor for the transience of life because they do not live for very long,’ the father wrote in his post.
‘They are considered to be omens of good things to come. The blossoms serve as emblems for affection and love.’
‘Fly high, my angel.’