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Kristi Anne ABRAHAMS

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Years of physical abuse
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 18, 2010
Date of arrest: April 22, 2011
Date of birth: 1983
Victim profile: Kiesha Weippeart, 6 (her daughter)
Method of murder: An autopsy could not establish an exact cause of death
Location: Mount Druitt, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Status: Pleaded guilty. Sentenced to a non-parole period of 16 years on July 18, 2013
 
 
 
 
 
 

photo gallery

 
 
 
 
 
 

Kristi Abrahams called 'putrid dog' and told to 'rot in hell' as she was sentenced to 16 years for murder of 'vulnerable and defenceless' Kiesha

By Amy Dale - The Daily Telegraph

July 18, 2013

KRISTI Anne Abrahams lived a troubled life "beyond most people's understanding", the judge who sentenced her today for murdering her 'defenceless' six-year-old daughter said.

But the police officers who investigated her daughter Kiesha's death, and the community left behind to mourn her death, are left reeling from a murder few can comprehend.

Abrahams was described by Justice Ian Harrison as "an inevitable product of entrenched intergenerational failures."

In sentencing her to a total minimum sentence of 16 years for murder and interfering with a corpse, he said: "the offender's failings are mirrored in the failings of others."

"As anyone knows, the burdensome responsibilities of parenthood are not bestowed only on those who are capable of meeting them," Justice Harrison said.

"Abrahams was patently ill equipped for the role and probably equally unable to recognise it.

"The death of (Kiesha) was in these circumstances a foreseeable and preventable consequence of foreseeable and preventable causes."

But the sentence, comparatively light compared to other punishments handed down to mothers who murder, was met with anger by a packed Supreme Court gallery.

Those who trusted Abrahams hissed "rot in hell" and labelled her "a putrid dog" as the emotionless 30-year-old was led away.

"The offender has been publicly vilified," Justice Harrison said, adding that of the gamut of emotions felt by a community when a child is dead, "guilt" is paramount.

The only time in Abrahams' journey through the courts, which began with her arrest in April 2011, showed any feeling to the evidence was when submissions turned to her own childhood.

The court heard Abrahams, who found her mother dead at age 10, endured an early life of abuse and neglect which was compounded by an intellectual disability.

But the same man she blamed for an early life of pain, her father, was the same person she wanted to place Kiesha with when she admitted she "couldn't handle this kid anymore."

Russell Oxford, the senior police officer who led the investigation into Kiesha's death, said the outcome should lead all parents to "reflect" then "go home and hug their kids."

ustice Harrison of the sentence, just before telling Abrahams to stand and learn her fate, "retribution and mercy are important in equal measure."

As Abrahams turned her head to be led away by prison officers, many in the gallery thought mercy is what Kiesha was granted least of all.

The sentencing today comes close to three years to the day since Kiesha's tragic life of abuse ended in her Mt Druitt home.

Abrahams was hit with a sentence of 21 years and six months. She was also sentenced to 18 months for interfering with a corpse. With the two penalties combined, Justice Ian Harrison sentenced her to a minimum 16-year term.

With time already served, she will be eligible for parole in 2027.

Justice Harrison said while he couldn't be satisfied Abrahams intended to kill six-year-old Kiesha, or that she was responsible for sustained abuse of her daughter, she meant to seriously injure her.

"(How Kiesha died) is not known to me and I have been unable to provide a satisfactory version to replace it," he said.

He said the murder of "a vulnerable and defenceless child in her care" was in the "mid-range" of seriousness and believed she is unlikely to reoffend.

Alison Anderson and other former friends of Abrahams told her to "rot in hell" after the sentence.

The court heard Abrahams, as Kiesha's mother, had "the highest duty of care to her" and "significantly breached" that by delivering "no more than two blows" to a six-year-old child.

Abrahams was entitled to a 10 per cent reduction for pleading guilty on the morning her "lengthy" trial was to start.

The court was told the version given by 30-year-old Abrahams upon her guilty plea, that she gave Kiesha "a little nudge" after a struggle to put pyjamas on, was "not accepted by the Crown and not consistent with the medical evidence."

Kiesha's post mortem revealed serious physical abuse, with the court told the damage "escalated in...seriousness, particularly in the last 18 months of her life."

The damage to Kiesha's remains, which were set alight at her burial, means the exact cause of death will never be known.

Robert Smith, Abrahams' partner and the man who buried Kiesha at the Shalvey bush site, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in December 2011 and was sentenced to at least 12 years in jail.

Justice Harrison said there was a 25 year standard non parole period for the murder of a child, but indicated other factors could be taken into account when determining the sentence.

He said she had been "publicly vilified" during the time the case has been before the court.

The Supreme Court was packed with former friends, police and family, including a group who yelled out at Abrahams to "go to hell" as the prison truck was driven into the King St complex just before 9am.

Abrahams pleaded guilty to manslaughter in May this year but it was rejected by prosecutors, forcing her to proceed to trial.

On June 17, the morning a jury was due to be picked and the trial to start, Abrahams pleaded guilty to murder.

The case

Kiesha became a familiar face in newspapers and on television after she was reported missing by Abrahams and her partner Robert Smith in August 2010.

Abrahams told police and reporters she had put the little girl to bed in their Hebersham home about 9.30pm but she was gone by the following morning.

But even from early days, homicide detectives believed there was a different, more disturbing truth behind the disappearance.

It took several months, but one night shortly before her arrest in April 2011 Abrahams tearfully told an undercover officer the chilling story of Kiesha's final hours-- and the steps she and Smith had taken to conceal the crime.

Rather than being sent to sleep after a family evening watching movies, as Abrahams initially told police, Kiesha was hurt by her mother on her bedroom floor after she resisted putting on her pyjamas.

Abrahams admitted her daughter felt "like jelly" and appeared unresponsive when placed in the shower. By the next morning, she was dead.

A dental expert told the court last month Kiesha had damage akin to an "adult sporting injury"-- a contradiction to Abraham's claim she had "nudged" her daughter with her foot.

Kiesha's small body would stay in a suitcase for days before Abrahams and Smith would take an evening taxi ride to Shalvey, walk into bushland and discard her remains.

Abrahams told the undercover officer she "was scared" of "walking, walking, walking" and seeing Kiesha's body set alight.

The pair were arrested eight months after reporting Kiesha missing, while visiting the gravesite to mark what would have been her seventh birthday.

Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was earlier this year sentenced to at least 12 years in jail.

Cycle of abuse

The court heard Abrahams failings as a mother could be traced back to her own childhood suffering.

"Kristi Abrahams is very much a product of what happened to her," her barrister Janet Manuell SC told the court last month, "It's very confronting for a community to accept the death of a child at the hands of her mother.

"(But Kristi) didn't receive the care she needed and that was a failure of the system."

The court heard Abrahams was the child of a violent and alcoholic man who has spent large periods of his life in custody.

At age 10, she discovered her mother dead in their home and began years in and out of foster care.

"She was never given love and support which was important to her own development,' Ms Manuell said.

While prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC said Abrahams's childhood "amplifies" the tragedy of the case, he added the "anger" she clearly felt towards Kiesha needs to be considered on sentencing.

Documents before the Supreme Court say Abrahams made threats to hurt Kiesha before the murder, expressing frustration at her toilet training and "playing up at school."

"I really will hurt her, I will kill her," Abrahams is reported as saying.

"I can't f****** handle this kid anymore."

Kiesha had been removed from her mother's care previously, after requiring hospital treatment for a bite wound in 2005.

Abrahams pleaded guilty to the assault in court, and was forced to complete an anger management course before Kiesha was returned to her in December 2006.

Kiesha's life of pain

Many people saw the signs Kiesha was in trouble-- but their concerns weren't enough to save her from a violent mother.

The little girl went to kindergarten only four times, and attempts by education workers to amend this were met with Abrahams locking and refusing to answer the door when they visited the home.

A DOCS caseworker, who spoke to Kiesha away from her mother in 2007, pointed to a burn mark to which the then three year old said "mum did that" and "mum hit there."

Court documents said Abrahams was "annoyed" by Kiesha's resemblance to her biological father, her ex partner Christopher Weippeart, and that it triggered the abuse.

Other neighbours and family friends reported seeing Kiesha "flinch" even if Abrahams just raised her hand to speak casually, and that she appeared fearful of her mother.

 
 

Kristi Abrahams jailed for at least 16 years for murder of 6yo daughter Kiesha Weippeart

By court reporter Jamelle Wells - ABC.net.au

July 19, 2013

A Sydney woman who murdered her six-year-old daughter after years of physically abusing the child will spend up to 22-and-a-half years in prison.

Kristi Abrahams pleaded guilty to murdering her daughter, Kiesha, whose remains were found in bushland in Sydney's west in early 2011, eight months after she was reported missing.

There were angry scenes outside the state's Supreme Court as the prison van carrying Abrahams arrived this morning.

Inside, the courtroom was packed as Justice Ian Harrison handed down his sentence, but Abrahams sat with her back to the public gallery.

Abrahams showed no emotion as she was sentenced to a non-parole period of 16 years for murder and interfering with a corpse.

"Rot in hell!" someone in the public gallery yelled out as she was led away.

The judge told the court the crime ranked in the mid-range of seriousness, because it was an impulsive and uncontrolled act of violence.

He said Abrahams has shown remorse and is unlikely to reoffend, and that her intellectual disability and own experience of being abused as a child contributed to her crime.

The court heard Abrahams was subjected to anti-Aboriginal comments as a child and had witnessed domestic violence in her childhood home.

The judge said Abrahams was put in a foster home as a 10-year-old, after her mother died.

Kiesha suffered abuse throughout her life

But Justice Harrison also said Kiesha deserved to be protected and had done nothing wrong.

He said the body was kept in a suitcase for three days before it was disposed of.

The judge told the court there was evidence that Kiesha suffered physical abuse throughout her life, but it could not be proven that all the injuries were inflicted by Abrahams.

He said in the last 18 months of Kiesha's life the frequency of the injuries had increased.

The judge said the DNA profile of Kiesha's blood was found around her mother's unit.

Her partner, Robert Smith, has already been jailed for at least 12 years over his role in the child's death.

Abrahams told police that, after she nudged her daughter with her foot to get the crying child to put on her pyjamas, Kiesha hit her head.

She said her daughter was like jelly when she put her to bed and was not breathing the next morning.

Abrahams did not seek medical help for her daughter and agreed facts previously released by the court state that she and Smith put the child's body in a suitcase then buried her in bushland at Shalvey.

"Ms Abrahams and Smith attempted to destroy all evidence that they thought could implicate them in the deceased's death, including removing evidence from the unit and throwing away their clothes, shoes and mobile phone SIM cards," the court papers said.

According to the agreed facts: "Smith burned the deceased's body prior to burial, burned the suitcase they had used to transport the body and threw away the hammer he used to dig the grave."

The papers say Abrahams was present for the disposal of her daughter's body.

An autopsy revealed Kiesha had teeth fractures delivered with force and 10 separate injuries to her head, jaw and body.

The Department of Community Services (DOCS), which is now called the Department of Family and Community Services, put Kiesha into foster care after Abrahams bit her on the shoulder at the age of 15 months.

But the child was given back to Abrahams, who had anger-management counselling.

When she was three, Kiesha told a DOCS worker her mother had burnt her with a cigarette.

DOCS received various reports of injuries to Kiesha from neighbours and family members.

Education officials went to Abrahams's home several times because Kiesha only attended school four times in her life.

School teachers and other witnesses had reported bruises on her face and head.

Today Justice Harrison said Abraham's anger and resentment about her own childhood affected her parenting.

He said she will get psychiatric care and support and education in jail.

 
 

Anger as forensic pathologist details injuries suffered by Kiesha Weippeart in Supreme Court testimony

By Amy Dale - The Daily Telegraph

June 25, 2013

KIESHA Weippeart told a case worker "mum did that" after being asked about a cigarette burn, court documents have revealed.

The Supreme Court heard today that Kiesha suffered weeks and months of physical abuse before her death, with her post mortem showing "significant and considerable damage" to her head, face and shoulders.

Abrahams resented and abused her daughter because of the physical resemblance she had to her biological father, the court heard.

Kiesha was interviewed alone by a DOCS caseworker after going to Nepean Hospital in 2007 with a bruise on her face.

"[She] was wearing a hat and kept turning her face away from the caseworker," documents say.

"The deceased was not able to account for the bruise on her face but, in relation to the cigarette burn, she said, 'Mum hit there' and 'Mum did that'."

The court has also been told that Kiesha, a kindergarten student, only attended school four times.

Earlier, Dr Matthew Orde, the forensic pathologist who completed a 14-page post mortem on Kiesha's body, told the Supreme Court some of the injuries appear to be "a (physical) blow, if you like".

Kiesha's mother Kristi Abrahams, 30, is awaiting sentence after last week pleading guilty to murdering the six-year-old at their Mount Druitt home in July 2010.

The graphic descriptions of the litany of injuries suffered by the little girl led some in the public gallery to call out "I didn't even know her and I loved her more than you" as the hearing was adjourned.

Another person told Abrahams she was "a low-life dog".

Her sentencing hearing was told yesterday that Kiesha's teeth reveal she received as many as five blows to the jaw before she died, which experts say is at odds with Abrahams' claim that she "nudged" the little girl with her foot and caused her to hit her head on a bed.

Dr Orde, who finished the post mortem more than four months after Kiesha's remains were found in a shallow grave in Shavey in April 2011, has detailed the "severe" injuries her body suffered.

He told the court he agreed the injuries were "consistent" with physical abuse, and said if she had been conscious at the time they were suffered they would have resulted in "significant pain".

"These are markers of severe impact to the body," Dr Orde said.

Kiesha's bones show "new formation" and thickening, a trait of "healing injuries", Dr Orde said.

The court heard damage to her lower jaw showed "localised, severe blunt force (trauma) to this area of the body."

Some of those injuries were sustained "weeks or months" before Kiesha died, Dr Orde found.

The hearing continues before Justice Ian Harrison.

 
 

Kristi Abrahams' Supreme Court sentencing hearing for Kiesha Weippeart murder continues

The Daily Telegraph

June 25, 2013

Before Kiesha Weippeart was murdered, her mother Kristi Abrahams had warned a relative that she was "sick" of her daughter and would "hurt her or kill her", a court heard yesterday.

As the Supreme Court yesterday began considering what jail sentence Abrahams should receive, harrowing details of Kiesha's final days have emerged - including the opinion of a dental expert who said the six-year-old suffered as many as five "fresh" blows to the jaw before her death.

The court heard the injuries Kiesha suffered were "equivalent to a sporting injury" and that, on her last night alive, she had argued with her mother about putting on her pyjamas.

Abrahams told her father she "would hurt her or kill" Kiesha because she was sick of her "shitting and pissing in bed" and "f...ing up at school", the court heard.

On the morning her trial was due to start last week, Abrahams, 30, pleaded guilty to murdering Kiesha on or about July 18, 2010, at their Mt Druitt home.

Crown Prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC said while Abrahams had told police, after reporting Kiesha missing, that the little girl had grown up "in a happy family environment" where she was "well cared for and loved", evidence at the sentencing hearing would tell a different story.

He said the comments Abrahams made to her father were "relatively contemporaneous" to the murder. Abrahams spent eight months denying any involvement in her daughter's disappearance before the girl's remains were found in bushland at Shalvey in April 2011.

The court was told Abrahams claimed to police she only "nudged" Kiesha with her foot while her daughter was lying on her bedroom floor not wanting to put on her pyjamas on July 18, 2010.

She said Kiesha then "jumped ... and hit her head" on the bed. Abrahams said she put Kiesha in the shower, noting she felt "like jelly" but was still breathing.

She and de facto partner Robert Smith, who has already been sentenced for manslaughter, found the little girl unresponsive the next day.

Mr Smith set the little girl's remains alight and buried her in a shallow grave. Abrahams didn't call police to report her missing for almost two weeks.

Dental expert Dr Alain Middleton told the court he was "hesitant to go lower" than saying there were three blows to Kiesha's jaw, saying he believed it was "more like four or five".

Dr Middleton told the court Kiesha's teeth revealed fresh damage to the jaw - a sign of "a very significant trauma".

The court heard the impact on the teeth was "abnormal and unusual (as) the recipient of the impact could not have had any idea (the hit) was happening".

The hearing continues.

 
 

A life filled with abuse: kiesha murder

By Isabel Hayes - Stuff.co.nz

June 17, 2013

The abuse started years before Kiesha was murdered by her mother. The little girl was just 15 months' old when Kristi Anne Abrahams viciously bit her daughter's shoulder.

Five years later, when Kiesha was reported missing by a seemingly distraught Abrahams and her partner Robert Smith, they described the little girl as "always happy, bubbly".

But that shoulder bite was only the first known incident in a short life filled with severe physical abuse.

As the couple fronted the media near their Mt Druitt home on August 3, 2010 to beg for help in finding Kiesha, Abrahams keened repeatedly, managing only to describe her six-year-old daughter as "beautiful".

"If anyone has seen her can they please contact police," she said as she clutched a tissue to her nose and mouth.

By then, Kiesha had been dead for three weeks.

Abrahams had knocked her unconscious on July 13 before she and Smith put her to bed.

After Kiesha died, the pair stuffed her body in a suitcase and kept it in her bedroom for the next five days.

They then donned disguises, took a taxi to nearby bushland in Shalvey, burned the child's body and buried it in a shallow grave.

The Supreme Court would later hear that Kiesha had suffered fracturing to her teeth consistent with a contact sport blow or jumping from a height and landing heavily on the ground.

She had several injuries suggesting repeated assaults over the weeks and months before her death - injuries found only in the remains of children who suffered severe physical abuse.

From the start, police had their suspicions.

Abrahams had been convicted of assault occasioning bodily harm after she bit Kiesha and the child was removed from her care for 18 months.

Abrahams was ordered to enter into a parental care plan, attend an anger management course and get counselling before Kiesha was returned to her in December 2006.

Before they reported Kiesha as missing, the couple went to elaborate lengths to pretend she was alive and well.

On July 28, 2010, Abrahams went shopping for some toys for Kiesha, including a Tinkerbell poster.

They told police they watched the movie, The Golden Compass, on the evening of Saturday, July 31 before Abrahams tucked Kiesha into bed in her pink pyjamas and a purple Pumpkin Patch jacket.

They then claimed they woke up the next morning to find the front door ajar and Kiesha missing.

But the pair couldn't hide the fact that no one else had seen Kiesha alive since at least July 7, when her grandmother had seen her.

"That's the puzzling part for us, the lack of sightings of the young child," officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Inspector Russell Oxford, told reporters at the time.

Eventually, Smith cracked and confessed to an undercover cop.

Smith and Abrahams were later arrested at Kiesha's makeshift grave in April 2011 - eight months after reporting her missing on what would have been her seventh birthday.

Smith, who claimed he was physically abused by Abrahams, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and to being an accessary after murder.

He was jailed for at least 12 years last month by Justice Megan Latham, who found he made the "simple and cowardly" decision to do nothing when Abrahams assaulted the little girl before taking a lead role in getting rid of her body.

Liesha found last month, Abrahams, 30, admitted to Kiesha's manslaughter, but this plea was rejected by the Crown, which was determined to try her for murder.

She also lost a bid to be tried by judge alone on the basis there had been extensive pre-trial publicity that might prejudice a jury.

Now, nearly three years after Kiesha died, the lies are over and Abrahams has finally taken responsibility for ending a tiny life that was all too brutish and short.

 
 

Kiesha Weippeart's step-father Robert Smith jailed

By Peter Bodkin - The Daily Telegraph

March 3, 2013


The man who left Kiesha Weippeart to die then hid her body in a shallow grave will spend at least 12 years behind bars.

Kiesha’s step-father Robert Smith was this afternoon sentenced in the Supreme Court over the six-year-old’s 2010 death.

The young girl was reported missing from her family’s Mt Druitt home in August, but her remains were not found until April the following year.

In a secretly-recorded conversation with undercover police, Smith said he heard a "loud bang" from the girl’s bedroom more than two weeks before she was reported as having disappeared.

He found Kiesha lying on the floor unconscious and tried to wake her, but instead of calling an ambulance he went to bed then to work the following day.

When Smith returned home he found the girl dead.

Kiesha’s body was hidden in a suitcase for several days before he took it in a taxi to nearby Shalvey, where it was doused in petrol and set alight before the remains were buried.

About two weeks later, emergency services received a triple-0 call reporting the girl missing from her bedroom after the from door of the unit was left open.

For the next eight months Smith maintained the young girl has disappeared, with the 33-year-old even telling police he had been like a father to Kiesha.

"She’s not my daughter, you know, but I treat her like she was," he said.

In April 2011, Smith finally admitted to undercover officers that Kiesha was dead and he had hidden her body.

"She wasn't waking up or nothing. I was like 'how can this shit happen to me?'," he said.

Smith was eventually charged with the girl’s murder, but he later pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of “gross criminal negligence”.

He also admitted to being an accessory to her murder.

Justice Megan Latham today sentenced Smith to a maximum 16 years in jail with a 12-year, non-parole period.

She said his crimes were among the most serious imaginable of their type, with his decision to burn the young girl’s body a "particularly heinous act".

Justice Latham said Smith made a "simple and cowardly choice" to protect his own interests – rather than those of a vulnerable and "gravely injured" child.

"These were not spontaneous, ill-conceived acts carried out in panic, such as are usually encountered by the courts when dealing with this offence," she said.

Justice Latham said finding an unconscious six-year-old would move anyone except the most "callous and unfeeling of adults" to seek medical help.

With time already served, Smith will be eligible for release in 2023.

A woman, who can’t be identified for legal reasons, is expected to face trial for Kiesha’s murder later this year.

 
 

Kiesha Weippeart's body 'set alight and buried' after death

By Amy Dale - The Daily Telegraph

February 15, 2013

Kiesha Weippeart's body was placed in a suitcase and taken to a shallow grave after her stepfather scouted for burial locations, a court has heard today.

Robert Smith is still awaiting sentence for the little girl's manslaughter, after pleading guilty to his part in her death in December 2011.

The Supreme Court heard today that his guilty plea to manslaughter is based on "gross negligence" and "a breach of duty of care" to the little girl who died in July 2010.

Her remains were found in bushland in Shalvey in April 2011, after she was reported missing from her home.

Details about the little girl's death have been revealed in court.

Justice Megan Latham was told that Smith had known the six-year-old was not well, but had left for work.

When he returned, efforts to revive her in her bedroom were unsuccessful, the court heard.

Smith has agreed he placed her body in a suitcase and left the luggage in her room for a few days while he rode around Sydney's west on a bicycle looking for a burial spot.

When he found one, he dug a hole then caught a taxi with the suitcase from a different location.

The court heard Kiesha's body was placed in the grave, before she was doused in petrol and set alight.

Smith was arrested in April 2011, near his stepdaughter's remains.

Dressed in an white shirt and black pants, Smith listened intently to today's proceedings.

The case has been adjourned for two weeks.

 
 

Kiesha stepdad 'burnt and buried her body'

News.ninemsn.com.au

February 15, 2013

He told police he treated his stepdaughter Kiesha Weippeart "just like she's my own".

But when the little girl was killed at home, Robert Smith burnt her body and buried it in a shallow bushland grave before pretending she had disappeared.

Smith, 33, had "ample opportunity" to seek medical help for six-year-old Kiesha, who was knocked unconscious by another person at her Mt Druitt home in July 2010, the Supreme Court in Sydney heard on Friday.

Instead, "He saw her condition deteriorate and did nothing about it", court documents said.

Crown prosecutor Keith Alder said Smith went to work the day after Kiesha was injured, leaving her in a "comatose" state and returning home that night to find her dead.

"He knew (Kiesha) had been knocked out," Mr Alder told Smith's sentence hearing.

"He knew he couldn't wake her. He had ample opportunity to get her medical assistance."

Smith has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of the girl on the grounds of negligence and to being an accessory after the fact of murder.

Another person, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will stand trial for Kiesha's murder later this year.

According to an agreed statement of facts tendered in court, Smith told police he heard a "loud bang" from Kiesha's bedroom and discovered she had been knocked out.

"I must have the worst luck and I was like, I didn't do anything but I'm there, I'm in the picture, I'm part of it," Mr Smith later told an undercover police officer.

After Kiesha died, the court heard Smith stuffed her body into a suitcase and left it in her room for about five days before he and his co-accused took it to a pre-prepared grave at nearby Shalvey on July 18, 2010.

"(Smith) then doused the deceased's body in petrol and set the deceased's body alight," Mr Alder said.

Kiesha was eventually reported missing from her home at Mt Druitt, in western Sydney, on August 1, sparking a large-scale police search and nationwide media frenzy.

In police interviews, Smith described Kiesha as "good, always happy" and he told police, "We get along fine. I treat her just like she's my own".

Kiesha's remains were discovered in bushland at Mt Druitt eight months later in April 2011 - on what would have been her seventh birthday - following a lengthy undercover police operation.

Smith and his co-accused were arrested at her grave.

An exact cause of death has not been established, but a post mortem examination found Kiesha may have sustained a severe head injury around the time of her death.

Defence barrister Mark Austin told the court Smith was a "passive" man who was physically and verbally abused by his co-accused, leading to feelings of "helplessness and high levels of anxiety".

Mr Austin described Smith as "fundamentally quiet by nature" and suffering from low self-esteem.

"His failure to obtain medical assistance (for Kiesha) can be explained by these aspects of the relationship (with the co-accused)," Mr Austin told the court.

Justice Megan Latham noted that Smith appeared to be the "prime mover" in the disposal of Kiesha's body.

"He was particularly involved and the prime mover, if you like, in the disposal of the body, including burning the body in such a way that prevents the crown from proving conclusively the cause of death," Justice Latham said.

She adjourned the matter for a mention on March 1.

 
 

Guilty plea over Kiesha Weippeart's death

By Jamelle Wells - ABC.net.au

December 16, 2011

The stepfather of Sydney girl Kiesha Weippeart has pleaded guilty to her manslaughter, but a murder charge has been dropped.

Supporters of the six-year-old girl packed the room at Penrith Local Court this morning as Robert Smith appeared in prison greens on a video screen.

The 32-year-old and the girl's mother, Kristi Abrahams, were charged with murder after her remains were found in a shallow bush grave in Sydney's west in April.

The discovery came nine months after the girl was reported missing from her Mount Druitt home.

Today the court heard the murder charge against Smith had been dropped.

Instead he pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of manslaughter and being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Abrahams, 28, is yet to enter a plea over her daughter's death.

The supporters of Kiesha in court today wore purple t-shirts bearing her name and carried a photograph of the girl.

Many were neighbours of the family who had initially supported Abrahams when she reported her daughter missing.

 
 

Police allege Kiesha was thrown against wall or bed

By Saffron Howden and Nick Ralston - Smh.com.au

June 10, 2011

Six-year-old Kiesha Weippeart was thrown against a wall or the corner of a bed before she died, police believe.

Today, in a brief of evidence to be handed to lawyers defending her mother and stepfather on murder charges, investigators will allege Kiesha was put in a bath after she sustained a head injury during the assault some time between July 12 and July 14 last year.

Kiesha was later put to bed in the family's Mount Druitt apartment, but died, police sources have told the Herald.

A taxi driver has allegedly come forward to say he drove Kristi Anne Abrahams, 28, and her partner, Robert Smith, 31, to bushland at Shalvey on July 18.

Police will allege Kiesha's body was with the couple at the time, carried in a suitcase, which was later recovered by investigators.

An autopsy on Kiesha's bones, found at Shalvey on April 22 this year, could not establish an exact cause of death.

The gruesome discovery came just hours after Ms Abrahams and Mr Smith were arrested near the grave and charged with murder following a nine-month investigation into the girl's disappearance.

She had been reported missing to police on August 1, 2010.

Her mother and stepfather told officers she had been abducted from their unit and made a public plea for her return.

They are both due to face Penrith Local Court on June 24.

 
 

Remains found as Police charge Kiesha Abrahams' mother Kristi Abrahams and stepfather Robert Smith with murder

By Amy Dale - Clementine Cuneo

April 22, 2011

Police have found a shallow grave site and skeletal remains where they believe the body of missing girl Kiesha Abrahams is located.

The unidentified remains were found at about 8am (AEST) "at a number of locations" on land off Stoney Creek Road, at Shalvey in Sydney's west.

"The remains, which have yet to be positively identified, will be taken to Glebe Morgue for forensic examination," Police said.

"A post mortem will also be conducted to establish the cause of death."

A crime scene has been set up at the site.

Scores of officers have been searching the area around the grave.

The mother and step-father of missing Mt Druitt girl Kiesha were charged with her murder this morning, on what would have been her seventh birthday.

Kristi Anne Abrahams, 28, and Robert Terry Smith, 31, were arrested in a laneway in Freya St, Shalvey at about 1am this morning and taken to Mt Druitt police station to be questioned by homicide detectives.

They have been formally charged with the little girl's murder and have just faced Parramatta Bail Court today.

They did not appear on screen when the matter was mentioned briefly.

Their solicitor told the Magistrate Ms Abrahams was "immensely distraught this morning".

Neither of them applied for bail and it was formally refused, meaning they will remain in custody until their next appearance in Penrith Local Court next Friday.

Court documents say police allege the pair murdered Kiesha at Mount Druitt between July 20 and July 27 last year, about a week before she was reported missing.

The remains, which are yet to be identified, will be taken to Glebe Morgue for forensic examination, police said.

A crime scene has been established and forensic officers have been scouring the area today.

An emotional Detective Inspector Russell Oxford, from state crime homicide squad, said he was proud of police efforts in this case.

He said it had been a long and arduous investigation More than a dozen locals have converged on Mt Druitt police station to shout abuse at the pair.

Several officers were forced to go into the alleyway to control the growing crowd and stop them chasing after a paddy wagon.

Robert Smith's mother Rebecca is in Mt Druitt hospital after experiencing chest pains early this morning.

Six-year-old Kiesha was reported missing from her home in Woodstock Avenue last August, and since then Ms Abrahams and Mr Smith have been interviewed by police on at least two occasions.

Police set up a task force named Strike Force Jarocin last year to investigate her disappearance.

The pair issued a plea for information just days after they reported Kiesha missing, with a tearful Ms Abrahams begging people "anyone that's seen her can they please go to the police''.

Mr Smith also said during their appeal that he had no idea where his stepdaughter was, saying "If I had any idea we'd be there looking.''

 
 

Mother, stepfather refused bail over murder

AAP

April 22, 2011

The mother and stepfather of Sydney girl Kiesha Abrahams have been refused bail after being charged over her murder.

The matter was briefly mentioned on Friday in Parramatta Bail Court after they were arrested in the early hours of the morning.

Lawyer Alexander Reetov, representing Kristi Anne Abrahams, 28, Robert Terry Smith, 31, told the court neither wanted to appear on screen in the court by video-link.

The pair did not request bail and registrar Ross Lawton formally refused it, meaning they will remain in custody for now.

According to court documents the pair were arrested just after 1am (EST) on Friday on Freya Street at Shalvey, in Sydney's west.

They were taken to Mount Druitt police station and each was later charged with the murder of the child.

Kiesha, who would have turned seven on Friday, was reported missing from her bed at her Mount Druitt home on the morning of August 1 last year.

According to court documents, police allege she was murdered between July 20 and July 27, 2010.

The case will be heard again on April 29 at Penrith Local Court.

Meanwhile, police said they could not confirm reports a shallow grave had been found during a search of bushland at Shalvey.

Police had on Friday set up a crime scene in the area.

Detective Inspector Russell Oxford, of the State Crime Command Homicide Squad, told reporters outside the court forensic officers were "there at the moment conducting examinations".

"I can't give you the results because I don't have the results at the moment," he said.

"Suffice to say we will remain out there until we find what we're looking for."

The investigation into the girl's disappearance began in earnest on August 1.

Police had pursued thousands of potential leads amid a groundswell of support from the local community.

"We had tremendous community support all along the way," Det Insp Oxford said.

"It was simply the case that we never wanted to give up on this matter."

He said it was a coincidence that charges were laid on the day which would have been Kiesha's seventh birthday.

At Mount Druitt, community members were expected to gather on Friday in Woodstock Avenue where the child had lived.

 
 

All hope is gone as Police reveal Kiesha Abrahams is dead

The Daily Telegraph

January 31, 2011

It is the conclusion Police hoped they would never have to reach. Six months after six-year-old Kiesha Abrahams disappeared, officers will tell the coroner the missing western Sydney schoolgirl is dead.

Police had refused to rule out the possibility Kiesha was abducted from her Mt Druitt home during the night, or that she wandered into the hands of the wrong person.

Now homicide detectives said they were treating her disappearance as a murder.

Head of the investigation, Detective Inspector Russell Oxford, yesterday said all other theories had been ruled out, leaving police with the harsh reality of informing the State Coroner that they believe Kiesha was dead.

"It's a hard call to have to make, and a pretty big decision, but we have had six months of exhaustive investigations into that little girl's disappearance, and that is where we are at," Insp Russell said.

Startling information revealed Kiesha had not been seen alive for three weeks before her mother Kristi Abrahams and step-father Robert Smith reported her missing on the morning of August 1, saying the little girl had been abducted from her bedroom during the night.

That was six months ago today.

Insp Oxford said the last time Kiesha was seen alive was on July 11, at a birthday party for one of Mr Smith's relatives held at a property at Londonderry.

"That is the last time we have someone who physically saw her alive, other than her mother or step-father," Insp Oxford said.

Claims a female neighbour saw Kiesha playing in the yard about a week before she was reported missing have been ruled out.

An extensive forensic examination of the family's unit failed to reveal any trace of an intruder.

It is understood an amount of blood, which matched Kiesha's DNA, was found in her bedroom.

A team of police has trawled through thousands of pieces of evidence, interviewed dozens of people including paedophiles, and investigated whether she had been smuggled out of the country.

Once the Coroner is notified about Kiesha's suspected murder, a date will be assigned for an inquest.

Insp Oxford said there would only be an inquest if no one was charged in the meantime.

"I am confident we will get a result here," he said.

 
 

Kiesha Abrahams search called off

AAP

August 8, 2010


Police investigating the disappearance of six-year-old Sydney girl Kiesha Abrahams said her immediate family were all being treated as suspects as they called off their ground search for the missing girl, the ABC reported.

Inspector Russell Oxford described the search as exhaustive, after seven days of police combing areas around her family's Mt Druitt unit.

Detectives have interviewed the girl's mother Kristi Abrahams, stepfather Robert Smith and father, who have all denied involvement in her disappearance.

But Inspector Oxford said everyone was still considered a suspect.

The physical search has concluded, but Strike Force Jarocin will continue to investigate Kiesha's disappearance, police said.

Earlier, a witness emerged with fresh information about Kiesha, saying she saw her near her Sydney home a week before she went missing.

Kiesha was last seen about 9.30pm (AEST) last Saturday when her mother, Kristi Abrahams, put her to bed at their Mount Druitt unit in Sydney's west.

It was previously thought she had not been seen by anyone, outside her immediate family, since July 7, about three weeks before she vanished.

But police are investigating reports from a female neighbour who says she saw Kiesha with a relative near the Abrahams's home on July 23 or 24 - a week before she went missing.

Investigators are now appealing for anyone who may have seen Kiesha on or after those days to come forward.

Kiesha was reported missing last Sunday morning after her mother discovered her bed empty and the front door ajar, although it showed no sign of forced entry.

Detectives yesterday refused to confirm if they had any suspects following claims by the child's stepfather, Robert Smith.

Mr Smith yesterday said that police had accused him of killing Kiesha and had told him to "lead us to her body".

Mr Smith, Kiesha's mother and the girl's biological father, Christopher Weippeart, were all interviewed by police on Wednesday.

Mr Weippeart, who is separated from Kiesha's mother, was taken to the Mount Druitt Hospital at 1.35pm vomiting blood and mucus after his mother Liz found him in a dire state.

Mr Weippeart, who has had type 1 diabetes for 10 years, had been "extremely stressed" over his missing daughter and it badly hit his health, his mother said.

"He just wants closure," she said.

"He was just feeling so terrible. He just wants her to come home.

It's not fair and whoever has her should just give her back."

Information can be provided via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 
 

Missing girl Kiesha Abrahams knew life's harsh cruelty

By Clementine Cuneo and Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph

August 4, 2010

A tragic picture of little Kiesha Abrahams' life was emerging yesterday as homicide officers joined the search for the missing six-year-old.

Police sources revealed that, as a toddler, Kiesha was admitted to a western Sydney hospital with a bite wound inflicted by an adult.

The injury suffered by the pretty blue-eyed girl was yesterday described by a source as a "significant bite wound".

It has also emerged that Kiesha was known to numerous government departments, such as education and health.

But most of the harrowing details of her life cannot be reported for legal reasons.

Kiesha was last seen at 9.30pm on Saturday when her mother, Kristi Abrahams, put her to bed in pink pyjamas and a purple Pumpkin Patch jacket at their apartment block unit on Woodstock Ave at Hebersham.

She was reported missing on Sunday morning after her mother discovered her bed empty and the front door ajar, although it showed no sign of forced entry.

Relatives yesterday speculated Kiesha may have been abducted while playing with stray cats.

Facing the media, Kiesha's mother howled as she begged for her "beautiful" girl's safe return. "If anyone has seen her, can they please tell the police," Ms Abrahams said.

Step-grandfather Rodney Jones said Kiesha loved the cats which lived near the family's unit.

"Kiesha is always playing with cats ... maybe she had got up and gone out to play with the cats and someone got her there," Mr Jones said.

He said the family had watched a movie on Saturday night, then Kiesha was put to bed about 9pm.

Police yesterday confirmed Ms Abrahams and her partner Robert Smith were the only two people to see the child in the three weeks leading up to her mysterious disappearance.

"It's been a living hell," Mr Smith said.

Kiesha had not attended school for the past week.

She had only been to school for five days this year.

Detective Inspector Russell Oxford said police still held hope Kiesha would be found alive. A massive search of the surrounding area continued until 10pm yesterday, with SES workers knocking on doors in the area and requesting access to backyards.

The search will resume this morning.

Forensic officers also returned to the family home, searching for clues.

The police media unit yesterday admitted bungling the first information release about Kiesha's disappearance after the number for a Blacktown car yard was left for people to call if they had information.

Six subsequent information releases carried the correct number for Crime Stoppers.

Staff had given callers the correct number, a police media spokeswoman said.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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