A SUPREME Court judge expressed dismay over the lack of action takento save an infant from fatal abuse.Justice John Sulan yesterdaysaid more people could have faced trial over the death of 18-month-old TashaSmith. She died at Swan Reach in November, with a post-mortem examinationfinding she had been beaten 81 times.
Her mother, Tracey Lee Smith, 22, of Wallaroo, has denied murdering Tasha.
Smith's former partner, Adam Troy Barty, 30, pleaded guilty to criminalneglect after agreeing to testify against her.
The court yesterday heard Barty witnessed the fatal assault but told hisfriends and family instead of police.
Justice Sulan said "one could only describe this as a tragedy".
"Here, there were a number of people who knew this child was being abused anddid nothing about it," Justice Sulan said.
"It is just beyond me to understand how that occurred. There are anumber of other people who could be in this dock."
David Stokes, for Barty, said his client's guilt was "almost indescribable".
"He has been in an almost pathological relationship with the mother who has,for whatever psychological reasons, been rejecting the child (and) being violentwith the child," he said.
"She has intentionally, psychologically used herself and the child tokeep a relationship with (Barty) that would have otherwise ended."
Rosemary Steen, prosecuting, said Barty's crime deserved a jail sentencedespite his co-operation.
"He left the house, did not call an ambulance, did not do anything to assista child which, in his own words, had been 'laid into' by someone who had, onmany occasions, assaulted her," she said.
Justice Sulan will sentence Barty on a date to be set.