Dead boy's TV star mum avoids jail

Esther Adongo Timberlake has avoided jail after being an accessory to the manslaughter of her son.
Esther Adongo Timberlake has avoided jail after being an accessory to the manslaughter of her son.

A former Kenyan television presenter who misled police after her three-year-old son died as a result of blunt force trauma to his abdomen has walked from a Queensland court.

Esther Timberlake, 38, was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to the manslaughter of her eldest child, Sinclair Timberlake.

The boy suffered fatal injuries at his family home at Kallangur, north of Brisbane, on June 2014.

His father and former Kenyan presidential candidate, Quincy Timberlake, has been charged with his murder.

In Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Martin Burns was sympathetic to Esther's situation saying she had suffered a "great deal" during the five years since her son's death.

"You went from being a wife and a mother, who was at that time nursing a six-month-old baby and who was otherwise trying to establish your young family in a new county, to losing your son, husband and daughters," he said.

The couple's two Australian-born daughters, who were two and six months at the time of their older brother's death, were placed in foster care.

Justice Burns concluded Esther's cultural beliefs were a factor in initially misleading police.

"You must be taken to have been in shock at the death of your son at the times when you were interviewed ... and further to be grieving at your loss," he said.

"You clearly deferred to (your husband) for most of what you said and did and demonstrated a real sense of obligation to him."

On Monday, Esther admitted misleading police to help her husband escape punishment.

Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle said the mother of three told paramedics and police on June 18 her son fell down the stairs.

But an autopsy revealed Sinclair died "as a result of a severe blunt force such as punching or stamping or similar" and his injuries were inconsistent with a fall.

The court heard Esther diverted the spotlight away from her husband for 26 days.

It wasn't until Quincy was involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility that Esther changed her statement.

She told police she went into the bathroom on the night of June 17 to find Quincy hitting Sinclair in the stomach.

"He then threw him against the wall," the court heard she told investigators.

Esther claimed her husband was saying "there's a devil in his stomach, I have to get it out".

She said Quincy had a strong arm and "even a grown man can't survive that punch".

The court heard Esther didn't speak up earlier because she was afraid.

Justice Burns sentenced Esther to 10 months prison but immediately released her on parole for a further 10 months.

She has been reunited with her two daughters.

Australian Associated Press