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Mother fronts court over axe attack

Herald Sun, Australia, By Elissa Hunt, December 9, 2005

A YOUNG mum accused of chopping off her son's leg with an axe faced court yesterday charged with attempted murder.

The woman, 21, walked into court No. 1 at Melbourne Magistrates' Court shortly before 1pm with the help of Box Hill CIU detectives.

The little boy, aged 20 months, was the youngest child in Australia and the second youngest in the world to have a leg reattached after it was severed on November 7.

His mother has been in psychiatric care in Box Hill since the incident at a Mont Albert home, run by a church shelter group.

Yesterday she sat sobbing and shaking during the brief hearing, wiping away tears as the court heard police had shown her great compassion since the attack.

She took part in an arranged interview yesterday morning at Box Hill police station, and was later charged with attempted murder, intentionally causing serious injury and unlawful assault.

The court was told the mother would be taken to the Thomas Embling secure hospital rather than be kept in prison while on remand.

She did not apply for bail and magistrate John Hardy remanded her in custody until March next year.

The toddler, whose right leg was severed just below the knee, had surgery at the Royal Children's Hospital.

The child is now at the heart of a custody battle between his father and his maternal grandparents, which is scheduled for a court hearing this month.