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Dad Throws Daughter (4) Over Bridge
Belfast Telegraph, 2009-01-29
A FATHER threw his four-year-old daughter to her death from a 200- foot bridge today after a custody battle with his estranged wife.
Arthur Freeman, 36, was arrested an hour later in the Australian city of Melbourne with his two other children, boys of six and eight, who were unhurt.
He was charged with the murder of Darcey Freeman, but did not appear in court because police said he was psychologically unfit.
Police said Freeman was involved in a custody battle and had appeared in a family court on Tuesday and yesterday.
The two other children had been in Freeman's car when he pulled over on the West Gate Bridge in morning rush-hour traffic and dropped the girl into the Yarra River, said Detective Inspector Steve Clark.
Stunned witnesses called police, who were able to pull the girl from the river within 10 minutes of receiving the alert. She was barely alive, with multiple internal injuries.
She was taken by helicopter to hospital, where she died about four hours after the fall.
"It's a dreadful set of circumstances," Supt Clark said.
"Often you think you've seen it all but you haven't."
About an hour later, Freeman was arrested with the two surviving children outside the family court, where witnesses described him as visibly distressed, Supt Clark said.
The incident happened about 9am on the bridge, an eight-lane road that is the main route from Melbourne to the west.
A court official said the custody hearing over the children had ended yesterday without a ruling because the parents had agreed to share access.
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