Murdered toddler craved his mother's love
Friday, November 20, 2009
One in Three Campaign

Before she murdered her two-year-old son, Rachel Pfitzner used to lock him out of the house. Every week their neighbours in Rosemeadow saw Dean Shillingsworth pounding on the glass doors, pleading to be let in. ''Mummy, Mummy, I am sorry,'' the banished toddler would cry. She hit him when he wet himself or took leftover food, his hunger driving him from bed at night to look for scraps. She yelled at him constantly. But Dean kept craving his mother's love. According to prosecutors, ''even though he was frequently being punished by his mother, Dean was constantly seeking affection from her''. She saw this as ''overly clingy''. Her fuse grew even shorter. She murdered Dean on October 11, 2007, the same day a court ordered that Dean be returned to the care of his paternal grandmother, Ann Coffey.

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