Leeanne Chrysilla Eatts faces 14 charges over the deaths of her sons Barak Austral and Jhulio Sariago.
Leeanne Chrysilla Eatts faces 14 charges over the deaths of her sons Barak Austral and Jhulio Sariago.

Mum charged with sons’ drowning deaths set free

A MOTHER accused of causing the deaths of her two sons who drowned in the Ross River has been granted bail, after two previous unsuccessful applications.

Leeanne Chrysilla Eatts, 48, successfully reapplied for bail in Townsville Supreme Court today, making it her third attempt.

The mother faces 14 charges including two counts of manslaughter after her sons Barak Austral, 5, and Jhulio Sariago, 3, were found dead in the Ross River just metres apart on February 26, hours after they had gone missing from their Cranbrook home.

Supplied image of Barak Austral, 5 with Jhulio Sariago, 3.
Supplied image of Barak Austral, 5 with Jhulio Sariago, 3.

 

Flowers were laid for Barak Austral, 5, and Jhulio Sariago, 3, found dead in the Ross River. Picture: Madura McCormack
Flowers were laid for Barak Austral, 5, and Jhulio Sariago, 3, found dead in the Ross River. Picture: Madura McCormack

Justice David North said it was his view that Eatts should be granted bail on the conditions that she wear a GPS tracking device.

She must also have no verbal or physical contact with the 156 witnesses, many of whom live in her neighbourhood or are connected to the community.

Eatts' legal representatives and the prosecution are finalising further conditions.

Defence Barrister Harvey Walters said it was "unlikely she would be a person who interfere with witnesses" and that the crown case of manslaughter was "weak".

"The passage of time has allowed those networks (support) to have been in place to stabilise and formulate with the help of her family," he said.

"She has shown cause."

A Smoking Ceremony and Memorial was held for the two boys who drowned in the Ross River. Picture: Alix Sweeney
A Smoking Ceremony and Memorial was held for the two boys who drowned in the Ross River. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Mr Walters said that the support of her family who sat in the back of court would allow her to follow strict bail conditions.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate said the GPS tracking device would overcome the flight risk as it would allow the police to know where she is at any given time.

Mr Walklate said there was another risk of Eatts interfering with witnesses, and if she be allowed to reside in her Cranbrook home, her presence would cause a great deal of stress for the witnesses who told police they feared retribution.

In May, Magistrate Steven Mosch refused Eatts bail on the grounds that she had not shown cause as to why she should be granted bail, and was an unacceptable risk of failing to reappear for a next court date.


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