A mother has told how she and her husband were “brought to tears” after they were “forced to bury” their daughter “for all the wrong reasons” when she was six.
Sarah-Jane Smith, of The Farm in the Hills, has written a book about her experience of the tragedy, called ‘She’s Gone’: A Home School Curriculum, and said the couple, who have two sons, lost their daughter, Lucy, after the incident in November 2014.
“I was so upset, it was so awful, and I didn’t want to be there and watch my little girl go,” Ms Smith said.
“She’s gone now, she’s gone.”
Ms Smith and her then husband Dave Smith were forced to bury Lucy, whose family had lived in the same home for almost 10 years, because she had become violent and disruptive.
“We were forced, for all the right reasons, to bury her,” Ms Simpson said.
Ms Smith had been preparing the couple for the funeral and they were given a “safe space” by police officers who had been called to the home.
Ms Simpson, who had worked in a local supermarket for seven years, said the incident started when she and Mr Smith arrived at the home in October 2014.
“It was very, very scary,” Ms Fisher said.
“[The] day I came home, I was told to go to the house and I had to leave with a police officer who told me to leave the house immediately and they told us to leave.”
Ms Fisher’s husband Dave had previously been a police constable for two years and was also a member of the local police and fire services.
The couple said they were initially “stunned” when they arrived at their house.
It took them almost a month to get the police to leave.
She said the following morning, they were shocked to see the boy, who she believed was “just a bit younger than me”, lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the living room floor.
Ms Fisher said she was told she would be arrested for breaching a court order, but she was released the following day and then had to spend three weeks in custody.
They said she would not be allowed to see her children.
As they were taken to the police station, Ms Simpson and her partner Dave were “shocked, shocked, shocked” when officers told them their daughter was not in fact dead.
A week later, they took Lucy to the hospital where they were told the child had died from a “medical emergency”.
“We were told to take Lucy to an adult hospital for a medical emergency,” Ms Simpsons said.
The couple said their daughter had been “physically restrained” during the ordeal.
After the incident, Ms Fisher was charged with causing unnecessary death, but the case was dropped.
During the trial, the court heard Ms Fisher and her wife were called to attend a funeral in November, when they were asked to leave because Lucy was “in distress”.
“[She was] very distressed,” Ms Williams said.
“[The police] told us, ‘We have to do something for your daughter.
She’s in distress.'”
After a three-week trial, a jury found Ms Fisher guilty of causing unnecessary deaths by negligence.
Mr Smith was also found guilty of failing to provide the proper care for Lucy.
But the jury ruled the couple could be awarded back wages.
In December, the couple appealed against the decision.
At the appeal, Ms Smith described her experience as “a disaster”.
Ms Simpson and Mr Simpson were granted a leave of absence from work and Ms Simpson had to miss two weeks of work, while Mr Smith remained on leave.
She told ABC Radio Melbourne she had been told by a judge the case would be thrown out if she did not appeal.
When she returned to work, the case had been thrown out because the judge did not accept the case could have been proved at trial.
Today, the family said they would appeal against the outcome.
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