The mother of murdered Canberra boy Bradyn Dillon says her son begged not to be sent back into the custody of his father, whose brutal bashings would culminate in his death.
- Bradyn Dillon’s mother has told a hearing the boy had several bruises the last time she saw him
- The Coroner’s Court has heard Bradyn begged not to be sent “back to Daddy” after his mother lost a custody battle
- Graham Dillon is in prison for murder, but the inquest is examining the broder circumstances around Bradyn’s death.
Nine-year-old Bradyn died after being subjected to weeks of beatings, at the hands of his father Graham Dillon, in 2016.
Dillon is serving a 41-year sentence for the murder and other offences, but a coronial inquest is also examining Bradyn’s death.
The inquest has already heard how Dillon had isolated his son by removing him from school, and hiding him from government services in the last few months of the boy’s life.
Today Bradyn’s mother gave a harrowing account of a family life that was dominated by Dillon’s extreme violence.
She broke down while looking at pictures of her son, taken the last time she saw him during a visit to Albury just weeks before his death.
She said one of the pictures showed Bradyn dancing along the street in front of her.
The woman had secured agreement that she could see her son, on the condition she pay Dillon $2,000.
“He had obvious bruising on his face, but Graham made him put the beanie on so you couldn’t see the ones on his forehead,” she said.
“I vaguely remember there was a bruise on his leg, a big bruise, a kicking bruise.”
After a failed attempt to get custody of Bradyn through the Victorian court system, his mother said the boy was petrified at the thought of being returned to his father’s abuse.
“Bradyn said Dad was strangling [me], kicking [me], yelling at [me],” she said.
“Please do not send me back to Daddy.”
At one point Bradyn’s mother became distressed when describing an incident to the court in which she drugged Dillon in order to buy time to flee with her son.
During her evidence she outlined a series of terrifying assaults, including one in which neighbours had seen Dillon punch Bradyn in the stomach, telling him to “man up”.
The boy’s mother also detailed several instances in which Dillon physically attacked her during their relationship, saying he was always controlling.
She said she was beaten and choked when pregnant, but was not allowed to go to the doctor or hospital.
“He always liked to make them where you cannot see them,” she said of the bruises and injuries Dillon would inflict.
Counsel assisting Rebecca Curran quizzed Bradyn’s mother about her drug use.
The court heard how Dillon had forced her to the ground and injected her with ice at times.
But the woman also admitted occasionally smoking an ice pipe, but said it was never in the presence of Bradyn.
The court is also examining the family’s contact with child protection services in three states.
Before Bradyn died his case was embroiled in different family violence orders sought by both parents.
The inquest is expected to run for two weeks.