#JusticeForBabyCharlie. Our little angel deserved better.

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First Nations readers are advised that this petition contains the names and images of people who have died.

My name is Kathleen. My beautiful little grand-nephew, Charlie Mullaley, was taken from his mum, Tamica, in the most horrific circumstances after she was arrested by West Australian Police instead of being helped as a domestic violence victim.  Police threw my niece into a van and took her away to be charged, leaving baby Charlie at the site of this horrific domestic violence. Hours later, he was murdered. Now, our family must have justice.   

You may have heard of our family’s story on the documentary series, See What You Made Me Do. It was in 2013 when this tragedy occurred, and to this day the WA Police refuse to launch an investigation into the way they failed Tamica and her Baby Charlie.  

The day our Baby Charlie was tortured and killed began when Tamica’s partner, Mervyn Bell left her bashed, naked and bleeding on a street in Broome following a brutal act of domestic violence. The WA Police were called by a member of the public to assist my niece, but instead of helping and comforting her they agitated her, a vulnerable victim of abuse, which resulted in Tamica being arrested for assault on them! There is no evidence that police gave any attention at all to the person who had assaulted Tamica – their entire focus was on taking her into custody, while she had been beaten and was highly distressed.    

Charlie’s grandfather, Ted Mullaley, who arrived to assist his beaten daughter, begged the police to allow him to help calm her down but was instead charged with obstructing the police. Instead of taking care of Baby Charlie the police left him at the scene of the crime, and then when police indicated they were taking Tamica to the police station and not hospital, Ted pleaded with them to take her to hospital. Ted followed the police paddy-wagon in his car to make sure Tamica was treated for injuries which were later described by the hospital as being critical.  

While both mother and grandfather were at the hospital, Mervyn Bell abducted Baby Charlie. Despite several frantic pleas throughout the night by Ted to Broome police and by phone to 000 stating that Mervyn was going to “kill the baby”, WA police failed to act or initiate a search for Baby Charlie for over 10 hours. In fact, despite his pleas, the Police threaten to arrest Ted if he didn’t stop calling 000.  

Sadly, during the next 15 hours, Mervyn Bell was spotted by a number of members of the public acting in an erratic and concerning way. Some people even called the police and reported that a man was carrying a limp baby but even then the police didn’t act.  These incidents were reported to the Police in other jurisdictions, but with no Alert being filed by the Broome Police, they were never followed up.  

When Baby Charlie’s body was found, police discovered that he had been beaten, sexually abused and burned. Mervyn Bell was eventually found guilty of murder and sexual assault and was sentenced to life imprisonment.  

But Baby Charlie didn’t have to die or suffer the unthinkable torture he endured. WA Police showed complete disregard for baby Charlie. Tamica and Ted begged police to help find him, but they refused. Ted and Tamica even had to go home and show the police a birth certificate to prove that Mervyn Bell wasn’t Charlie’s father and that Tamica was his mum. Meanwhile, his little body was already tortured, waiting to be found.   

Tamica can never get her beautiful boy back, but we can fight for truth and justice. All we want is to make sure that the WA Police never treat an Aboriginal mother and child this way ever again. Our hearts will never heal, but we can do all we can to fix a broken system. Mervyn Bell got an inquest after he died, but the Coroner and the Attorney General refuse to investigate the WA Police role in what happened to Baby Charlie.  

 We cannot do this alone. Please, join our family’s call for:   

  • A coronial inquest or parliamentary inquiry into the way that WA police failed Tamica, Ted and Baby Charlie.
  • The WA Attorney-General to finally meet with our family.
  • An investigation into how the Crime and Corruption Commission failed to focus on why WA police did not take steps to ensure that baby Charlie was left in a safe place and was safe from harm.  

Please, sign and share our petition and help us get #JusticeForBabyCharlie. 

Watch the Mullaley family’s story on See What You Made Me Do here

Read more about the family’s call for justice from the WA Attorney General here

This petition was started by National Justice Project on behalf of the Mullaley family.