Child killer mums clash behind bars in New South Wales



TWO of Australia's most notorious child killers have clashed violently behind bars, with Dean Shillingsworth's mother saying the woman who starved her own daughter to death was a "slut" who "deserved it".

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that Rachael Pfitzner attacked the woman - who is serving life in jail for the starvation murder of her daughter "Ebony" - in Mulawa women's prison in New South Wales in January.

The incident was recorded by prison guards, with Pfitzner reportedly having a "sore right hand" while the mother had "minor injuries".

However, a day later Pfitzner penned a letter to little Dean's father in which she claimed it wasn't the first time she had struck the woman.

"I'm locked down for five days in segro (segregation)," she wrote on January 24 this year.

"It's my 3rd inside charge, for knocking people out. This time I punched a girl with a hard knock, split her nose at the top, broke it and gave her a black eye which is causing her problems.

"The slut deserved it, wanting to run her mouth with me and push me. No c--t. in here scares me. I seen (sic) the area manager, he's making me hold a mediation with this girl as it's the second time I bashed her."

Two letters between Pfitzner and Dean's father Paul Shillingsworth also contain an apology for Dean's death from the toddler's mother, who admits she simply couldn't cope.

"Just know that I did try, and kept trying, to get help but they let me down," she wrote in September last year.

It is a sentiment echoed in an Ombudsman's report released yesterday.

Even before he was born, DOCS knew Dean's life was in danger following a report about domestic violence and an unsafe environment at his mother's home.

The report revealed there were 34 risk of harm reports about Dean, including one while he was still a newborn in hospital when his father abused his mother.

Other reports related to violence, drug abuse and neglect but case workers never met him.

"I want to rip DOCS apart but it's not going to bring Dean back," his grandmother Bev Pfitzner said yesterday.

"She (Rachael) told a family support worker, she screamed out to her, 'Do you think my child is safe with me?' That should have been enough."

The family support service, funded by DOCS, had tried to ensure Pfitzner kept Dean, even when she was telling a support worker she "couldn't stand him" and wanted him gone, the Ombudsman said.

The support worker claimed that after Dean's death, she had asked if Pfitzner would harm him but was told no. A spokeswoman for corrective services declined to comment.

In the January letter, Pfitzner told Mr Shillingsworth she was "extremely depressed" and told him of a dream she had about the son she killed.