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Woman beaten by abusive partner hid in dog kennel before death four days later
November 9, 2020
A woman was forced to hide from her violent partner in a dog kennel following a brutal beating in which he smashed her feet with a hammer.
Kylie Jane Cay, 44, died from a ruptured spleen four days after the vicious assault in 2016, an inquest in Australia has heard.
Justin Turner was convicted of her manslaughter in 2017 and sentenced to a maximum of 12 years in prison.
A Coroner's Court of Victoria inquest is investigating why Ambulance Victoria cancelled a vehicle dispatch after Ms Cay called and said she was having trouble breathing.
She was being beaten by Turner most days, but the attack on June 18 was particularly barbaric.
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He had punched her in the face, fractured her ribs and hit her in the feet with a hammer, she told police. He also dragged her by the hair, terrifying her so much that she hid from him inside a dog kennel.
The mum-of-three had a court order in place against him at the time of the assault.
Ms Cay went to hospital and was medically assessed as fit to be released two days later.
However the blunt force trauma of Turner's blows had ruptured her spleen and she was found dead in her home on June 22.
An audio recording was played to the court on Monday in which Ms Cay, a friend and the Triple-0 operator could be heard discussing her pain.
"She just got out of hospital, she was belted," the friend could be heard saying.
"She's in pain and she needs to go to the hospital."
When asked if she was having difficulty breathing, Ms Cay could be heard saying yes.
The operator then reassured the women an ambulance was on the way and she should wait in a comfortable position until it arrived.
However when Ambulance Victoria was notified of the call by Triple-0, it was downgraded from a code one to a code three and the ambulance was cancelled — even though it was just 700m from Ms Cay's home at the time.
Instead a paramedic called Ms Cay back to review her condition, during which time the assault victim became frustrated and hung up.
There was no attempt made to call her back, the court heard.
Daniel Staff, the clinician who downgraded the code and cancelled the ambulance, said he stands by his decision.
He said Ms Cay's breathing difficulty is common in patients with broken ribs and it was reasonable to think she had just run out of her painkillers and wasn't in immediate danger.