The homeopath dad who was accused of 'criminal negligence of a sick daughter' has admitted his failure to switch to conventional medicine when his alternative medicinal treatment of the child's chronic eczema didn't cure her, a court has heard.
According to The Australian, Thomas Sam allegedly told police in an interview after his nine-month-old daughter Gloria Thomas died from an infection: "I could have done better. I should have taken better care of Gloria."
Sam and his wife Manju have pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court to their daughter's manslaughter in May 2002 by gross criminal negligence.
In opening the defence case for Sam, Carolyn Davenport SC said her client had reacted to his daughter's condition using his own knowledge and "what he was told by doctors."
Counsel for Mrs. Sam, Tom Molomby SC, told the jury his client also realised she was wrong in not seeking conventional medical aid for Gloria sooner.
He said the jury would need empathy and understanding for the position Mrs. Sam found herself in - a new mother with her first sick baby from a culture where homeopathy is viewed as an accepted, regular part of life.
They were more concerned with their social activities during a visit to India than their baby daughter"s health, a Sydney jury was told on Tuesday.
Prosecuting lawyer Mark Tedeschi told the NSW Supreme Court that Thomas Sam, 42, and his wife, Manju Sam, 36, were responsible for the manslaughter of their nine-month-old daughter, Gloria Thomas, in Sydney in May 2002.
Though both have pleaded not guilty to the charge, they are accused of failing to get conventional medical help for their daughter, who was born in July 2001 and suffered severe eczema in the last five months of her life, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Tedeschi said that in February 2002, Manju Sam took Gloria to a Sydney paediatrician, who prescribed medication.
When told she was going to India with the baby to see her family, the specialist became very upset, saying "it was cruel to do that to Gloria,""" Tedeschi said.
He alleged Manju Sam had travelled to India partly for citizenship reasons and partly because she was not coping with Gloria and wanted help from her family.
He said Manju Sam arrived in India on February 23, and her husband joined her in April, when his brother was getting married.
"The crown case is that you will conclude that the two parents were almost totally fixated on their social obligations, visiting people and travelling around, to the exclusion of any concern about Gloria"s deteriorating state of health,""" Tedeschi told the court. The trial continues.