Quincy Zuma Wambitta Timberlake, who ran for president in Kenya before moving to Brisbane, sentenced to 11 years
A refugee to Australia who had been a presidential candidate in Kenya said “the devil has gone now” after punching his son in the stomach and throwing the three-year-old against a bathroom wall.
Quincy Zuma Wambitta Timberlake was sentenced on Friday to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Sinclair, who died on his bedroom floor at Kallangur, north of Brisbane, in June 2014.
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After finding his son apparently fallen at the bottom of the stairs, Timberlake started saying that the devil was in the house, the Brisbane supreme court heard on Friday.
The now 43-year-old grabbed a Bible from his bedroom, saying he was going to slap the devil, Justice Paul Freeburn said in sentencing Timberlake over the “brutal and incomprehensible” death.
Sinclair’s mother, Esther, assumed her husband was going downstairs but heard her son yelling and thuds from behind the bathroom door when she got out of the shower.
When the door opened, the boy seemed to be in pain and doubled over.
The court heard Timberlake struck him forcefully in the stomach, causing him to stumble, then said: “There’s a devil in his stomach, I’m hitting the demon out of his stomach.”
When Sinclair started to go towards his mother, Timberlake in a rage threw the child against the wall.
After the boy fell to the ground, Timberlake told his wife, “the devil has gone now”, before rambling about beating the demon and removing it from Sinclair’s stomach.
Emergency services found Sinclair’s lifeless body on the bedroom floor.
The couple omitted to tell authorities about what occurred in the bathroom but Timberlake was secretly recorded in the morgue making biblical references while repeatedly apologising for failing Sinclair.
Weeks after the death, Esther Timberlake – who was immediately released on parole after pleading guilty in 2019 to being an accessory to her son’s manslaughter – told police about the attack, saying her husband was experiencing delusions.
After being forced to live on the streets and subjected to abuse as a child, Timberlake obtained a chemical engineering degree before meeting Esther, who had returned to Kenya after being admitted to the legal profession in Australia.
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Timberlake was arrested and jailed in Kenya, having announced his intention to run for president after the couple formed the PlaCenta (Platinum Centraliser and Unionist) party. He reported being badly beaten and tortured by police and a militia group. The charges were dismissed but the couple left the country, as they were vilified and persecuted, and eventually settled in Australia.
Timberlake, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, was sentenced on the basis he punched his son intending to cause grievous bodily harm but that at the time he was of diminished responsibility.
“That is, at the time of doing the act which caused Sinclair’s death, you were in such a state of abnormality of mind as substantially to impair your capacity to know that you ought not to do the act,” Freeburn said.
Freeburn declared Timberlake be eligible for immediate parole after serving more than nine years in custody.
“The release of Mr Timberlake is now a matter for the parole board,” he said.
Timberlake’s immigration status means he will be immediately liable for either deportation or detention for an indefinite period.
In Australia, support is available at Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 and at MensLine on 1300 789 978. International helplines can be found at befrienders.org