WHEN the Crown called for a life sentence with a minimum term for baby killer Harley Hicks during a Supreme Court plea hearing last month, prosecutor Michele Williams SC spoke of several other high profile child killers.
Namely, Robert Farquharson and Arthur Freeman, both of whom killed their own children - and were given life sentences with minimum terms.
Farquharson was jailed for life in 2010 after a jury found him guilty of murdering Jai, 10, Tyler, 7 and Bailey, 2, in 2005 to hurt his ex-wife.
He was first convicted of murdering his sons in 2007 and sentenced to life without parole, but was granted a retrial - after which he was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 33 years.
Arthur Freeman was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 32 years after throwing his four-year-old daughter Darcey 58 metres to her death over Melbourne's West Gate Bridge.
Ms Williams said while both child killings which were acts of revenge against a partner were “abhorrent,’’ and inexcusable, they had explanation.
“There is, whether we like it or not, an explanation,’’ she said.
But she said Hicks was different, because his "cold, calculated killing of a baby'' had no explanation.
Yes, Hicks was on ice.
But he was aware enough of his behaviour to unplug a baby monitor, and cover the 10-month-old baby he had beaten to death with a blanket before leaving.
He also knew to collect the loot he had stolen elsewhere on the way home.
Hicks has shown no remorse. He has offered no explanation.
And he chose a tiny, powerless, helpless victim who could not fight back.
In the words of Justice Stephen Kaye, ''you couldn't argue with the proposition this case falls squarely into the most serious cases of murder''.
We can only hope his sentence reflects that.
Nicole Ferrie, deputy editor