Adelaide woman jailed for bashing daughter to death

August 1, 2007 - 11:41AM

A woman who bashed her 18-month-old daughter to death has been jailed for a minimum of 14 years.

The South Australian Supreme Court was told today Tracey Lee Smith, 24, delivered a series of blows to her daughter Ti-Aysha's head, chest and stomach before she died in November 2005.

A post-mortem examination found the girl died from severe internal bleeding after being struck about 80 times.

The infant had been taken to a hospital in the Riverland but was dead on arrival.

Justice Kevin Duggan said Smith's conviction for murder was particularly serious as it involved the killing of a defenceless child.

He said Smith's actions stemmed from intolerance.

She believed her daughter was an obstacle to her relationship with her former partner Adam Troy Barty, he said.

But at her trial Smith denied the prosecution's allegations against her and blamed Barty for inflicting the injuries.

Justice Duggan said Smith's story was clearly rejected by the jury and he rejected her assertions that Barty also was violent to her.

Murder charges against Barty, 31, were dropped last year after he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of criminal neglect and agreed to testify against Smith.

He was sentenced to a jail term of two years last December.

Justice Duggan today imposed the mandatory life sentence on Smith and imposed a non-parole period of 14 years.

He backdated the sentence to November 2005 when Smith was first taken into custody.