Herald-Sun, Melbourne ~

A YOUNG Melbourne father who bashed his baby daughter to death has had his jail term increased by at least three years following an appeal by the Department of Public Prosecutions. David Scott Arney, 25, of suburban Heidelberg, repeatedly punched his five-month-old daughter Rachael in the weeks prior to her death on December 15, 2005.

In November last year, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Bernard Teague sentenced the Arney to nine years jail with a minimum term of five years after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and recklessly causing serious injury. Three Court of Appeal justices today allowed the DPP's appeal and imposed a new sentence of 11 years jail with a minimum term of eight years. The justices - Geoffrey Nettle, Frank Vincent and Marcia Neave - agreed with the DPP's argument that the sentence was manifestly inadequate.

Justice Nettle described the initial sentence as "extraordinarily merciful" and said that given the seriousness of the crime it warranted a very substantial sentence. Justice Vincent said Arney's crime should be viewed with abhorrence and it was important to vindicate the values of the community and rights of the deceased child. "It is deeply saddening to have to accept that any human being could engage in the kind of abuse that led to the death of a five-month-old infant," he said.

The court previously heard Arney and his wife had not planned her pregnancy and were struggling financially. Arney grew frustrated and resentful, taking out his anger on Rachael by punching her in the stomach. Rachael died from peritonitis, arising from a ruptured part of her bowel. She also had a fractured skull and ribs, which Arney attributed to a fall.

11 years!!! What world do these Judges live in??
I can only hope the other prisoners do the right thing.