The father of Tyrell Cobb has told a court that killer mum Heidi Strbak wanted to delay medical treatment for her son so she could buy marijuana.
The father of Tyrell Cobb has told a court that killer mum Heidi Strbak wanted to delay medical treatment for her son so she could buy marijuana.

Killer mum ‘wanted drugs before taking Tyrell to doctor’

Killer stepdad Matthew Scown has told a court that slain four-year-old boy Tyrell Cobb's mum waited hours to seek help when the boy fractured his arm because she wanted to "score pot" before taking him to a doctor.

Scown, who was jailed over Tyrell's tragic death, is giving evidence in the Brisbane Supreme Court where the boy's mum Heidi Strbak is being re-sentenced for the 2009 manslaughter of her son after successfully appealing an earlier nine-year prison sentence.

 

Matthew Scown claims Heidi Strbak was violent towards her son Tyrell Cobb in the days before the four-year-old’s death.
Matthew Scown claims Heidi Strbak was violent towards her son Tyrell Cobb in the days before the four-year-old’s death.


Scown has today told the court that in the weeks before Tyrell died, the little boy had fallen from the playground at his daycare and Strbak was called to come pick him up.

He said Tyrell was clearly in pain with a sore arm and he urged Strbak to take him to a doctor.

"I made a sling from a pillow case (for Tyrell)," Scown said.

He gave evidence that he had encouraged Strbak to get help for the boy but she wanted to buy marijuana first because her drug dealer wouldn't be available later in the day.

"I thought that was a bit weird," he said.

"So I rang Jason (Cobb, the boy's father) and me and Jason had a conversation about it.

"I said I know we don't get along Jason but your son has had a fall at daycare and you might want to tell her to take him to hospital."

Scown said Strbak interrupted the phone call and hung up on Mr Cobb.

"I think scoring pot or taking your son to the doctors is a no-brainer," Mr Scown said.

"I thought you would have taken him straight away after a fall at daycare."

Tyrell Cobb died on Sunday May 24, 2009.
Tyrell Cobb died on Sunday May 24, 2009.

Scown has also given evidence that Strbak was violent toward her son in the days before he died on Sunday May 24, 2009, saying he witnessed her striking the boy across the side of his ribs on the Friday and slapping him across the face with an open palm on the Saturday evening, causing bruising to his face.

"There was one time there she marched him to his room and smacked him … on his right side," he said.

"There was another time we were sitting at the table, he just vomited … and he she slapped him across the face and that was the bruising that was under the eye."

Scown was sentenced to four years in prison for Tyrell's manslaughter but the sentence was immediately suspended on the day of his sentence because he had already served two years and eight months in custody.

Heidi Strbak arrives at the Supreme Court in Brisbane in 2017. Picture: Glenn Hunt
Heidi Strbak arrives at the Supreme Court in Brisbane in 2017. Picture: Glenn Hunt

But Scown breached the sentence by committing almost 30 more offences early last year including fraud and drug driving, landing him back behind bars until he was released in January this year.

But the court today heard Scown is again in custody after he breached his parole in October last year after he failed a drug test and was taken back into custody in May this year. He is due to be released from prison in January.

Strbak pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her four-year-old son Tyrell Cobb who died in 2009 from blunt force injuries to his abdomen which caused his leakage of his stomach and internal bleeding.

The contested hearing in the Brisbane Supreme Court is being held to determine whether Strbak or Scown inflicted the fatal blow or blows to the young boy.

The hearing continues.

*For 24-hour support in Queensland phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, MensLine on 1800 600 636 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT  on 1800 737 732.  

Originally published as Killer mum 'wanted drugs before taking Tyrell to doctor'