A couple left a three-year-old boy with permanent disabilities after babysitting him in Melbourne.
It’s unclear what exactly Xing Shen, 25, and her partner Xi Zhang, 23, did to the boy at their Docklands home in May 2019.
But Victoria’s County Court was told on Tuesday of an agreement or arrangement to inflict physical discipline.
It left the child, who is now five, with permanent cognitive disabilities, and requiring ongoing speech pathology and physiotherapy support.
His concentration and fine motor skills had also gone backwards, prosecutor Sarah Thomas said.
While it was Shen who inflicted the injury, Zhang was complicit and they pleaded guilty to negligently causing serious injury.
Acting for Shen, lawyer Hayden Rattray said the former Deakin University student had little to no experience in caring for children.
She had since given birth in custody, but the baby girl was taken away and being cared for by relatives in China.
Shen had gone 476 days without being able to hold or feed her daughter or hear her first words, Mr Rattray said.
‘At a human level, it’s difficult to comprehend the hardship that must have befallen (Shen) in the days since she gave birth to her daughter,’ the lawyer also said.
‘Plainly, her time in custody has been extraordinarily onerous.’
Zhang’s lawyer, Jonathan Manning, said the couple’s agreement to treat the boy roughly was not pre-planned, but made up on the day.
The pair are likely to be deported to China after being released from jail.
Judge Trevor Wraight is expected to hand down his sentence on May 12.
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