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
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
Abrahams was described by Justice
Ian Harrison as "an inevitable product of entrenched intergenerational
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"I really will hurt her, I will
kill her," Abrahams is reported as saying.
"I can't f****** handle this kid
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
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
Kristi Abrahams jailed for at
least 16 years for murder of 6yo daughter Kiesha Weippeart
By court reporter Jamelle Wells -
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
There were angry scenes outside
the state's Supreme Court as the prison van carrying Abrahams arrived
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Dr Middleton told the court
Kiesha's teeth revealed fresh damage to the jaw - a sign of "a very
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:
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,
But that shoulder bite was only
the first known incident in a short life filled with severe physical
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
By then, Kiesha had been dead for
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Kiesha Weippeart's step-father
Robert Smith jailed
By Peter Bodkin - The Daily
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
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
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
"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,
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
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
Her remains were found in
bushland in Shalvey in April 2011, after she was reported missing from
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
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
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
Kiesha stepdad 'burnt and
buried her body'
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
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
"He knew he couldn't wake her. He had ample opportunity to get her
Smith has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of the girl on the
grounds of negligence and to being an accessory after the fact of
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
The investigation into the girl's disappearance began in earnest on
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
"It was simply the case that we never wanted to give up on this
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Six subsequent information releases carried the correct number for
Staff had given callers the correct number, a police media