Witness gives harrowing depiction of toddler's abuse

A supplied undated police image obtained Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 of toddler Tanilla Warrick-Deaves.
A supplied undated police image obtained Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 of toddler Tanilla Warrick-Deaves. NSW POLICE

A WITNESS in the trial over the murder of toddler Tanilla Warrick-Deaves has given a harrowing account of the abuse the child allegedly suffered in the weeks leading to her death.

Two-year-old Tanilla, who is buried at Ballina where her father lives, died of a head injury on the NSW Central Coast in August, 2011.

Warren Ross, 29, is accused of inflicting the fatal blow in the bathroom of a Wyong home.

Central Coast woman Carly Knight told the NSW Supreme Court she had seen the accused yelling at the toddler as they walked down a Wyong St.

She said Mr Ross had hit the child so hard she had flown through the air and that despite her cries for help, he had continued to walk past her, even asking onlookers if their children behaved in the same way and warning Tanilla to "just wait" until she got home.

After witnessing the alleged incident, Ms Knight made a report to police.

Earlier in the trial, which began in Sydney on Tuesday, Ms Knight said she had later recognised Tanilla's picture when her local newspaper reported the toddler's death.

When asked if she could have been mistaken about the identity of the child, she said she disagreed.

The prosecution has alleged that Tanilla died of a combination of abuse and neglect.

The Herald reported that in the opening address on Tuesday, the jury was told that after Tanilla was struck in the head, she was left in her pram for two days before receiving medical attention.

It will also be alleged that in the months before Tanilla died, Mr Ross committed acts of violence against the toddler.

She was allegedly whipped with belts and power cords during toilet training and regularly forced to run around the home until she tired.

On the day she died her crime was allegedly failing to put chickens back into their cage.

The trial is expected to run for another week.