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'Laughing killer' says he 'did right thing' by family

Matthew Scown laughing after coming out of his sentencing hearing.
Matthew Scown laughing after coming out of his sentencing hearing.

THE former Sunshine Coast man who sparked outrage after laughing on camera after sentencing over the death of a child has told the media to leave him alone.

Matthew Scown, also formerly of Gladstone, who has  been dubbed the 'grin reaper', was convicted of manslaughter after a controversial plea deal.

Tyrell Cobb died an agonising death after being bashed.

Scown, while not responsible for the boy's injuries, admitted he knew about the abuse Tyrell was suffering.

On Thursday, he was  confronted by 9NEWS  and asked if he felt lucky to be released after spending less than three years in prison.

He said he had done the "right thing" by the family.

"I've already spoken with my lawyers and I've spoken with the other family, so what youse (sic) need to do now is leave me alone," he said.

Nine reported that Scown's full criminal history includes multiple serious assault charges, including against women; wilful damage; multiple breaches of bail; and multiple failures to appear at court.

But he denied he was laughing at being released at jail.

He said he was laughing at a cameraman running into a bin.

But Nine reported that eyewitnesses, as well as camera footage, show he was smirking before that incident.

The Queensland government is considering appealing the sentence amid calls from major outlets, including The Courier-Mail, for tougher penalties.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life.

The Courier-Mail quoted a former top judge called for the judiciary to get tough and hand down harsher sentences.

Clive Wall QC, who retired last year after two decades on the bench, said the four-year suspended sentence given to Matthew Scown for the manslaughter of the Gold Coast four-year-old was not enough.

Responding to a story and picture in The Courier-Mail, which showed Scown laughing as he walked from court after the sentencing, Mr Wall said the penalty did not meet community expectations.

"Four years for killing a child? It's just not enough," Mr Wall told The Courier-Mail.

Tyrell Cobb died on May 24, 2009, at a home on the Gold Coast.
Tyrell Cobb died on May 24, 2009, at a home on the Gold Coast.

Crown prosecutor Phillip McCarthy told the sentencing hearing this week that Scown was responsible for Tyrell's death because he left it too late before seeking help.

If Scown had called paramedics just 12 hours earlier, the youngster would be alive today, Mr McCarthy said.

Mr McCarthy said Tyrell's physical reaction to his severe abdominal injury would have been bad enough for Scown to know something was wrong.

The court heard Scown knew the child was hurt because he tried to get Ms Strbak to take Tyrell to the hospital.

Mr McCarthy said the mother, instead, went with her brother to get cigarettes, leaving Scown to care for Tyrell.

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About 40 minutes after Ms Strbak left the Biggera Waters home, Scown phoned 000.

Scown tried resuscitating the child but when paramedics arrived they found Tyrell cold, clammy, non-responsive and without a heartbeat.

"The child was in a very poor condition for a very long period," Mr McCarthy said.

With green bile flowing from his nose and mouth along with a severe injury to his tummy, a fractured arm and 53 bruises and 17 abrasions, a Brisbane justice says Scown should have known there was something terribly wrong with the four-year-old Gold Coast boy.

Topics:  death editors picks tyrell cobb

News Corp Australia

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