Father 'suicidal' after girl thrown from bridge
Posted Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:19pm AEDT
Updated Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:48pm AEDT
The father of a four-year-old Melbourne girl thrown from a bridge this morning was suffering from acute psychiatric distress and was suicidal, a court has been told.
It is alleged the 35-year-old Hawthorn man threw the girl off the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne this morning and he has been charged with her murder.
Police say witnesses reported seeing a man stop his white Landcruiser near the top of the bridge and throw the child over the side about 9:00am AEDT.
About 10 minutes later, water police pulled the girl from the Yarra River near the Scienceworks Technology Museum, close to the Spotswood pumping station.
Paramedics then spent 45 minutes trying to revive her on the riverbank. She was flown to the Royal Children's Hospital, where she later died.
The man did not appear in the dock of the Melbourne Magistrates Court and the court heard he was suicidal and suffering from acute psychiatric distress.
He was remanded in custody to reappear in court in May.
'You just shudder'
Police say when the man was arrested he was with two other children, aged six and eight, and was visibly distressed.
Detective Inspector Steve Clark says the mother of the dead girl has been informed.
"It's a dreadful set of circumstances, and often you think you've seen it all but you haven't," Detective Inspector Clark said.
"It's particularly distressing obviously for family members but for the witnesses who saw what occurred, a number of those people are upset and I've got a number of police here who have young children themselves, who have had to deal with it."
Police want witnesses to the incident to contact them.
Victorian Premier John Brumby says the incident is a terrible tragedy.
"It's such a horrible thing to happen to the child," he said.
"As a father I think, what are the circumstances that could possibly bring this about? I just shuddered when I heard about it ... you just shudder, you just think, how can that happen?"
People who do not deserve to have kids - issue 3
Father throws four year old girl off a bridge to her death