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Father gets life sentence for toddler's murder

A Supreme Court judge in South Australia has revealed that a man who drowned his toddler son and buried him in sand dunes at Port Noarlunga beach,
injected drugs and visited brothels hours after the crime.
Benjamin Martin David Green, 30, was today jailed for life.
In September last year Ben Green drowned his son Lachlan in the bath and put the two-year-old's body in a recycling crate in a bedroom.
He drove four other children in his care to his mother's house.
He then injected $70 worth of speed into his arm and visited several brothels.
Green later asked a friend for help to bury something.
The pair drove to Port Noarlunga beach where a grave was dug and Ben Green threw his son's body in.
Green later admitted the crime to police and led them to the grave.
Justice Thomas Gray said Green had earned the nickname Cat Killer, because of his cruelty to animals.
He jailed Ben Green for life, setting a non-parole period of 20 years.

www.abc.net.au (9-11-2005)

Accused Son Killer Had Custody Of 5

A man who allegedly murdered his two-year-old son before burying him in sand dunes at Port Noarlunga had sole custody of four other children aged under seven.
Children Youth and Family Services yesterday confirmed Benjamin Martin David Green had custody of five children, including two-year-old Lachlan Peter Green whose body was found on Sunday.
Children Youth and Family Services director Nerida Saunders would not reveal if the department had been in contact with the family, who lived in Morphett Vale, before the incident.
"We're not able to comment on this case as there is a police investigation under way and we also have a policy of not divulging details that may tend to identity children," Ms Saunders said in a written statement. "The four children are in the care of their extended family."
Green, 28, yesterday appeared in the Christies Beach Magistrates Court charged with murdering Lachlan - the youngest of the five children. Dressed in a police-issued white jumpsuit, Green remained motionless during yesterday's brief hearing.
He stared at the ground as his lawyer, Dionisios Tsimiklis, told Magistrate Derek Sprod there would be no application for bail.
Mr Sprod remanded Green in custody to reappear next month.
Lachlan's body was found in a shallow grave at the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park about 2.30pm on Sunday. It is believed Green went to the Christies Beach Police Station at 9.30am that day and told police where they could find the body of his son - who had been reported missing by his grandmother about lunchtime on Saturday.
Police used X-ray imaging equipment to find Lachlan's body, which was in a shallow grave about 4m from a walking track, 500m south of Port Noarlunga jetty. Neighbours yesterday told The Advertiser Green had lived in the Louisa St house for about two months and kept to himself.
Police forensic experts have scoured the house for evidence and seized items. Lachlan's mother, who lives in the eastern suburbs, cuuld not be contacted.

Adelaide Advertiser (14-9-2004)
Christopher Salter

Murder Of Son Denied

A man has denied murdering his two-year-old son and burying him in sand dunes at Port Noarlunga.
Benjamin Martin David Green, 28, of Morphett Vale, allegedly murdered Lachlan, the yongest of five children in his care.
The boy's body was found in a grave at the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park on September 12. In Christies Beach Magistrates Court yesterday, Green pleaded not guilty to murder and was remanded to March 14.

Adelaide Advertiser (9-2-2005)

Too Much Stress, Says Killer Father

A Morphett Vale man who admitted killing his two-year-old son before burying him in the sand dunes was "stressed" and "frustrated" by his parental responsibilities, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.
Benjamin Martin David Green, 30, pleaded guilty to murdering Lachlan, the youngest of five childrenin his care.
Lachlan's body was found in a shallow grave at the Onkaparinga Recreation Park last September,500m south of Port Noarlunga jetty. The cause of his death has never been revealed and was not presented to the court yesterday.
During sentencing submissions, Green's ex-wife, Christine Cawley, who was not in court, had her victim impact statement read out.
It said: "I feel I have not been able to grieve properly because I can't understand why. "Since that day, I have been having nightmares and have been taking anti- depressants," her statement said.
Brian Nitschke, for Green, told the court his client- who came from a "dysfunctional" family- did not have the "multiplicity of skills needed to care for five children unde the age of 7, on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week basis".
He said when Green gained parental custody "over the course of time (he) became increasingly stressed by the responsibility of caring for the children".
Mr Nitschke told the court Green then became "increasingly frustrated" by his situation. "He started using excessive amounts of amphetamines as a form of escape from his worries and indeed his routine," he said.
The drugs caused him to become sleep deprived and paranoid and he started "hearing and seeing things" around him, Mr Nitschke said.
"His mind became increaingly unstable," he said.
Prosecutior Sandy McDonald told the court that "any sentence needs to reflect the seriousness of the offence, but in particular the age of the child who was in no position to defend himself".
Justice Tom Gray remanded Green in custody to face sentencing at a later date.

Adelaide Advertiser (30-9-2005)
Andrew Hough

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