The murderer of toddler Tanilla Warrick-Deaves was finally sentenced to 40 years jail on Friday in Sydney’s Supreme Court as her father, Ballina-based Adrian Warrick, looked on.
Warren Ross, Tanilla’s stepfather, will be eligible for parole in 30 years.
Tanilla’s family and supporters were disappointed that Ross was spared a life sentence after Justice Stephen Rothman told the court her killing was ‘not [quite] in the worst category’.
Nevertheless he admitted that ‘No person with any modicum of humanity could not be moved by the circumstances of this murder.’
Last year a jury ruled that Ross had repeatedly tortured his two-year-old stepdaughter for months ahead of her death, flogging her with a power cord, pushing her head into a shower stall, putting her under cold water, holding her over the toilet, calling her a ‘‘black dog’’ and causing her to bash her head on a linen cupboard door.
When she finally lapsed into unconsciousness, Tanilla was left in her pram for two days without medical attention.
Her mother, Donna Deaves, has already been sentenced to two years jail for manslaughter over her role in the child’s killing.
Ms Deaves failed to take her daughter to a hospital, saying she was terrified of Ross.
The judge said Ross showed no remorse, continuing to claim Tanilla had injured herself on a backyard trampoline and in a fall from a chest of drawers.
As he was led away, the unrepentant murderer slung a final insult at Tanilla’s father, shouting ‘See you in jail, Adrian’.
Police had to keep the Ross and Warrick families apart as he was led out of the courtroom.