TW: this post deals with extreme child abuse and death
*Quick note: Warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – names of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait people wilk be mentioned. However, the perpetrator will be referred to as ‘scumbag’. It’s what he deserves
Charlie Mullaley was a darling little boy. Devastatingly, in 2013, his life was cruelly cur short by his evil stepfather.
The little boy was raped and tortured for fifteen hours. He sustained injuries all over his body from head to his feet.
Before the horrific attack, his mother, Tamica Mullaley was bashed on a street in Broome, Western Australia. The perpetrator was the same scumbag who took Charlie’s life.
Encounter with police
Things went from bad to worse. Police officers found Tamica sheltering in a neighbour’s carport. She was covering herself with a sheet and was bleeding.
As she was calling out for her father, the officers pressed her for a statement. Tamica spat and swore at the officers and was apprehended and put in the back of a paddy wagon.
Her father, Ted Mullaley begged police to take Tamica to hospital. The officers finally caved and Tamica was taken to hospital.
Ted Mullaley told SBS’ See What You Made Me Do, that Tamica would have died from her injuries without immediate medical intervention.
Despite pleas from the Mullaley’s, Charlie was left with his stepfather’s cousin.
Ted went to the hospital to pick up Charlie. But he was gone. He’d been taken by his stepfather.
That’s where little Charlie’s fate was tragically sealed.
We Mullaley family offered an apology
Nearly a decade later, Tamica and Ted finally received an apology.
Justice John McKechnie said that Charlie’s murder was one of the worst he’s encountered.
Attorney General, John Quigley offered an apology to the Mullaley family:
On behalf of the government, of WA, to Tamica and Ted, I am sorry for the way you were treated by the government and the WA police, both before and after losing baby Charlie.
Charlie Mullaley and Cleo Smith: two completely reactions from police and media
The Mullaley family contrasted the treatment of Charlie to Cleo Smith, a then – four – year – old who was kidnapped in WA last year.
Cleo’s disappearance got both national and international coverage. Police were on the case immediately and no resource was spared.
Was Cleo’s disappearance in the headlines because she’s white? I can’t say that for certain. But, I can’t blame the Mullaley family for feeling that way.
How are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suppose to trust institutions?
Often, Aboriginal and Torres Strait people are howled down for bringing up racism.
Experiences of ATSI people are too often dismissed. We like to think racism – especially institutional racism – doesn’t exist.
But it clearly still exists. There seems to be still racial prejudice within law enforcement. This needs to be dealt with and snuffed out.
The media isn’t without fault, either. Where was Andrew Bolt when Charlie Mullaley was kidnapped and murdered? Rita Panahi?
To their credit, Sydney Morning Herald have at least written about the case. So has news.com.au.
And SBS should also get credit for their episode of See What You Made Me Do. But I think everyone else needs to do better. Much better.
We need to treat all missing children and domestic violence victims the same. All victims deserve justice.
Rest in peace Charlie. 💙