DISGRACE: Convicted child basher Jesse Lee James was given immediate parole eligibility when he appeared in Maryborough Magistrates Court last month.
DISGRACE: Convicted child basher Jesse Lee James was given immediate parole eligibility when he appeared in Maryborough Magistrates Court last month. Contributed

Petition for longer sentence for child basher hits 12,800

ALMOST 13,000 people have signed a petition calling for a tougher sentence for a Maryborough man whose brutal attack left a toddler in hospital with serious injuries.

The two-year-old girl was left with a paralysed bowel, as well as a broken back and pelvis, and only survived the abuse after Child Health and Safety caseworkers visited the home and noticed her injuries.

In sentencing James last month, Judge Tony Moynihan said the 29-year-old had a "callous disregard" for the welfare of the toddler and sentenced him to six years in prison.

It was not his first attack on a child, with James having previously been sentenced for an assault on a three-year-old.

But James, having already spent about two years behind bars waiting to be sentenced in court, was given immediate parole eligibility.

The woman who started the petition, who asked to remain anonymous, said anyone who hurt a child did not deserve to be free in the community.

"Children are defenceless, precious little beings and he is a monster of the highest order," she said.

In the wake of the sentencing, Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki called James a "despicable grub" and added his voice to calls for a tougher sentence.

"Just two years' jail for this monster is totally inadequate," Mr Janetzki said.

"James used sickening force against his poor victim and the full force of the law should have been used against him.

"This despicable grub broke the spine and pelvis of a tiny girl and he doesn't deserve a shred of sympathy.

"This man had a previous conviction for bashing a three-year-old and is clearly a grave threat to children.

"I'm calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to immediately appeal this sentence."

The Chronicle contacted the Department of Public Prosecutions to ask a decision had been made as to whether to appeal the sentence.

A spokesman from the department said a decision had not yet been made.