A toddler sees her mother murdered by her father

The murder of Sydney mother Jody Galante is sad enough in that she was 3 months pregnant when her husband Mark shot her in the back of the head in 2006.

Now that the NSW Supreme Court has heard that their 3 year old daughter witnessed the crime unfold is even more tragic. I’m not sure whether a toddler of that age would have the cognitive capacity to recognise and realise the reality of death in the world, but it’s clear that she knew that something was wrong when she told a police officer that her “daddy hurt Mummy hard”.

I recall back when I was around 9 how death scenes in movies used to freak me out, for example when Robert Shaw’s character in Jaws is eaten by the great white shark. Seeing these details makes me ponder how traumatising seeing somebody, let alone your mother, father or other relative, die before your very eyes would be as you lived your life knowing what you had witnessed. This poor girl, if she hasn’t already, will realise exactly what happened, and has no chance of being able to erase that terrible scene from her memory. She would be aware that Mummy’s not around any more, but to connect that fact with what she witnessed is something that no person should ever have to experience.

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