Mason Parker was only 17 months old when he was murdered.
Mason Parker was only 17 months old when he was murdered.

‘Keep the mongrels in jail for life’

THE grandfather of a murdered toddler has demanded politicians have a conscience vote on proposed laws that would mandatorily keep child killers in jail longer.

Mason Parker was only 17 months old when he was murdered by his mother's partner Troy Reed in 2011.

Reed was sentenced to life in jail with a non-parole period of 20 years.

Mason's grandfather John Sandeman said the penalty, and that given to other child killers convicted of manslaughter, was not enough.

The LNP has proposed new mandatory penalties for child killers.

This will be in addition to Labor's laws, set to be adopted, which will widen the definition of murder and add an aggravating factor to manslaughter for those who kill children 12 and under.

Mason Parker was killed by his mother’s partner.
Mason Parker was killed by his mother’s partner.

"We'd like to keep the mongrels in jail for life," Mr Sandeman said.

After a year-long review, Queensland's Sentencing and Advisory Council recommended the aggravating factor for child killers.

The review found sentencing for the manslaughter of children was not adequate.

An aggravating factor would allow the courts to consider the defencelessness and vulnerability of the child, with an expectation that penalties would be harsher.

The Government said it would introduce this recommendation and it would redefine the crime of murder to include reckless indifference for human life, such as callous disregard for a child causing death. For example, a person who sexually abused a child to the point that they died would be able to be charged with murder and not manslaughter.

The LNP will support those changes but has proposed a child manslaughter offence with a mandatory 15 years in jail. The average has been less than seven years.

The minimum non-parole period for the murder of a child under 18 would also be increased from 20 to 25 years under the proposal.

Mr Sandeman said he wanted politicians to have a conscience vote on the LNP proposal. Under Labor's caucus rules, MPs can only vote against party or government policy when granted a conscience vote. Otherwise they risk expulsion.

"Look at the case of Mason Lee (whose stepfather William Andrew O'Sullivan could be paroled in four years after he was sentenced to nine years for his death), it's a joke," Mr Sandeman said.

"They (the sentencing council) didn't listen to us, didn't listen to the general public about what we want," he said.

"It doesn't matter about which party you want in government, keeping these mongrels in jail is more important than anything else."

The office of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was contacted for comment about a conscience vote, however it referred queries to Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath's office.

A spokeswoman said it was not for them to decide on a conscience vote.