History of drug abuse, neglect before two girls left in car to die
A Queensland mother was deemed fit to keep custody of her children despite a history of drug abuse and neglect just 10 days before she left her young daughters in a hot car and they died.
A report obtained by 9News shows Kerri-Ann Conley was well known to the Department of Child Safety before the death of her one and two-year-old daughters, Chloe-Ann and Darcey-Helen, in November 2019.
The 30-year-old, who pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter, told child services she used methamphetamine and refused drug tests, while another report claimed Darcey-Helen was seen with a bong in her mouth.
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The report states Conley told child safety she wanted to swap her unborn child for an iPhone 7 on June 5, 2018.
Later that year, she repeatedly failed to submit to several mandatory drug tests and told child safety she had been using methamphetamine, the report found.
On November 6, 2019, it was reported her older daughter was running around Conley's house with a bong in her mouth and she was taken to hospital.
The hospital didn't conduct a drug test but the doctor reported the toddler was underweight, pale and suffering from diarrhoea.
A week later on November 13, 2019, police received a report that Conley was using and selling ice in the family home while the children were locked in another room.
Despite this, child safety declared Conley to be "a parent willing and able".
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But 10 days later, the little girls would lose their lives.
The Logan mother took the girls to a friend's place at 11.30pm on November 22, 2019 and returned home at about 4am the next day.
The children were left in the car seats because Conley said she did not want to wake them.
She went inside her home to sleep as temperatures inside the car reached 60 degrees and the two young girls died.
Conley was sentenced to nine years in jail but with time served could be out on parole next year.
The report finds child safety officers did not conduct further investigations into Conley's case history due to "workload demands".
Serious complaints made to the department were not escalated to investigation status, the report states.
Father Peter Jackson is now only left with memories of his children.
"Their laughs would have to be the most memorable," he told 9News.
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