Echuca toddler Angela Bannister died because her mother and her partner failed to seek medical attention early enough, police allege.
Daniel John Simmons applied for bail in Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Thursday, charged with child homicide in relation to Angela's 2008 death.
His partner Tania Maree Walker, Angela's mother, is also charged with child homicide.
Andrew Grant, acting for the Office of Public Prosecutions, said the basis for the charge was that Mr Simmons and Ms Walker were negligent in their care of the 23-month-old.
The court heard Mr Simmons reported Angela was attacked by a stray dog on the morning of July 18, 2008, the morning before she died.
She was taken to Echuca hospital before being released back into the care of her mother and her partner, with whom she spent the rest of the day.
Angela was reportedly restless during the day and was put to bed at 8.30pm, but was unsettled during the night and experienced thirst, pain and incontinence.
At 2.55am on July 19, Mr Simmons called Echuca hospital seeking medical advice.
It was alleged he was told to call triple zero or take Angela to the hospital, but he and Ms Walker did neither.
Mr Grant said Angela stopped breathing sometime before 6.18am.
Mr Simmons began resuscitation efforts and Ms Walker placed two emergency calls.
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They then put Angela in their car and began driving to hospital, but met the ambulance on the way and paramedics took the child.
Angela died at 6.52am.
It was found she suffered numerous injuries, including fractured ribs and a fractured pelvis, and died from internal bleeding from chest injuries.
Both Ms Walker and Mr Simmons denied knowledge of how the injuries occurred.
Neither have been charged with inflicting the fatal injuries.
A medical expert, Dr Joanna Tully, reviewed the case last year and reported earlier medical intervention could have saved Angela's life.
Mr Grant said it was the couple's failure to seek medical attention earlier that caused Angela's death.
Homicide Squad Detective Senior Constable Leigh Prados said the period of negligence spanned from about 8.30pm on July 18 into the morning of July 19.
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He said there was a delay in laying charges against the accused because the findings of a 2011 inquest were not delivered until 2012 and the Homicide Squad was monitoring the relationship between Mr Simmons and Ms Walker to see if it would change.
The decision to lay charges was made, DSC Prados said, following a 2017 case review, advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions and Dr Tully's report.
He said Dr Tully reported Angela received her injuries in the hours before her death, after she was taken to hospital on July 18.
DSC Prados told the court he opposed bail for Mr Simmons out of concerns for the safety of any children he came into contact with, that he could interfere with witnesses, that he could fail to answer bail, and drug use.
During questioning by defence lawyer Sam Cooper, the detective said Mr Simmons was long aware of his involvement in a police investigation and had remained living in Echuca.
Magistrate Patrick Southey said there were compelling reasons to grant Mr Simmons bail.
He said the bail conditions addressed the concerns of the police, and given the delay in laying charges, the "irresistible inference" was that police did not have a strong case.
Mr Simmons must report to police every day and is prohibited from leaving Victoria, contacting prosecution witnesses, using drugs or alcohol, and living with Ms Walker.
Ms Walker was granted bail earlier this month.
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