During his trial, killer dad JOHN PATRICK O'KANE squeezed a lot of mileage out of his mental health issues, though the judge did determine that Daddy did not have a "psychiatric illness" per se. But the judge did buy that the poor dear wasn't feeling like himself, not with his "long-term depression" and all (but no allegations of schizophrenia or psychosis). The judge is even accepting that this father had POST NATAL DEPRESSION, and that this somehow contributed to the crime, the vicious murder of his 4-month-old son.
Wait, what the f***? How can a Daddy have post-natal depression? Um, you don't even have the baby-making machinery or hormones for that, dude!
We're told that mom Andrea Yates was abusing the system when her history of post-partum depression was raised at her trial a few years back. And yet nobody blinks when a FATHER claims post-partum depression for excusing the murder of his infant son?
Note that this guy is a repeat customer too, having served SIX YEARS in prison for abusing another child back in 1994--a fact that was hidden from the mother of the murdered child.
My take? Daddy sounds like one slick and manipulative @$$hole-- the kind that convince you to buy a truckload of ice at the North Pole. Otherwise, how could any reasonably competent judge buy this daddy's bull****?
John Patrick O'Kane jailed for 18 years for killing baby son
Todd Cardy, court reporter
February 05, 2010 11:06AM
THE unemployed truck driver who killed his son and physically abused him in the weeks before his death has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.
John Patrick O'Kane, 41, who has pleaded guilty to the murder of his four month old son Zach on January 5 last year, wiped away tears and sniffled while sitting in the dock as he was sentenced in the WA Supreme Court today.
O'Kane kept the body of his son in the boot of his car for two days before burying the infant in a shallow bush grave in Wellington National Park near Collie.
In the weeks before Zach's death, O'Kane seriously physically assaulted the child. The court was told Mr O'Kane was suffering from depression and on the day he committed murder he had heard voices and "just snapped".
Justice Ralph Simmonds said he accepted that O'Kane did not intend to kill Zach and there was no plan or premeditation to the physical abuse.
"These were powerfully tragic and extremely difficult events involving a parent killing his infant child while aware of what he was doing," Justice Simmonds said.
Justice Simmonds sentenced O'Kane to life in jail with a minimum 18 years before he is eligible for parole.
After sentencing, O'Kane turned to the back of the court where Zach's mother Sylvia Schilling was seated with supporters but the two did not speak and he made no gestures.
The court heard that in 1994 while living in New South Wales, O'Kane was jailed for six years for causing grievous bodily harm to another child and kept the offence secret from Ms Schilling.
Justice Simmonds said while he could not add further punishment to O'Kane because he had assaulted another child, he noted the seriousness of the offence and noted it had shown a "dangerous precedent".
The judge said he accepted O'Kane had suffered long-term depression and possibly a type of post natal depression when he murdered his son but he had not suffered a psychiatric illness.
Ms Schilling did not comment as she was taken from the court building by a waiting car.
Outside of court Mr O'Kane's lawyer, Terry Dobson, offered an apology on his client's behalf.
"Mr O'Kane has instructed me that whilst words can not properly convey how sorry he is in what happened, he does want to apologise," Mr Dobson said.
"Obviously what he has done is a horrible thing, particularly the suffering he has caused baby Zach's mother and her family and of course his family as well."
Mr Dobson said O'Kane "still cannot explain exactly why this thing happened".
He O'Kane had told him he wanted to talk to Ms Schilling, who had at one point been barred by court order not to contact her de facto.