Father who attempted to murder his daughter hopes to regain child’s trust

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Father who attempted to murder his daughter hopes to regain child’s trust

An Adelaide father who tried to kill his daughter out of spite and vindictiveness towards his wife hopes to regain his child's trust, a court heard.

This story contains details that may cause distress to some readers.

Shaun Preston Mate, 45, pleaded guilty yesterday to the attempted murder of his then-three-year-old days before his Supreme Court trial was due to begin earlier this year.

The police found Mate and his daughter unresponsive and suffering from hypoxia in their Eden Hills home in July 2020.

The young girl spent five days in intensive care after being exposed to toxic gas and took weeks to recover from the injuries.

The court previously heard that Mate's marriage was falling apart in the lead-up to the attempted murder and he had become verbally and physically abusive.

In sentencing submissions on Friday, prosecutors told the court that the premeditated offending had been an act of spite This was not a sudden, heat of the moment offence, prosecutor Kos Lesses said.

Mr Lesses said when police arrived at Flinders Medical Centre to arrest Mate once he had regained consciousness, he asked unprompted: So, she didn't die then? That comment has relevance in refuting a previous suggestion that he did not recall of the offence incident.

This was planned, premeditated, with spite and an element of vindictiveness.

The girl was lucky to have survived. Defence lawyer Marie Shaw told the court his client had been grateful and relieved that his daughter had not suffered long-term damage.

Ms Shaw told the court that my client is profoundly remorseful.

Mate said through a statement read aloud by his lawyer, he deeply regretted his abhorrent actions and had been grateful and relieved that she did not suffer long-term damage.

He said he was acutely aware of the harm he had caused and was deeply sorry The court heard he hoped to regain the trust of his daughter, whom he loved The punishment of having to live with what he tried to do to his daughter will never leave him. Auxiliary Justice Geraldine Davison did not allow Mate's father to read a statement to the court in support of his son, but said she would take it and statements from others into account in sentencing.

The court heard medical experts agreed that Mate had been suffering from a major depressive disorder at the time of the offending.

Justice Davison questioned the connection between Mate's mental illness and his decision to kill his daughter.

The maximum penalty for attempted murder is the maximum penalty of life in prison.

Mate will be sentenced in August.