The Court of Appeal in South Australia has heard disturbing details regarding the case of Neyland, who sent triumphant text messages after subjecting a young boy to a horrific incident on January 17. Neyland had called the boy, who was temporarily under her care, into her bedroom, accusing him of recording a sexual act involving a young child.
Despite the boy denying the accusation, Neyland proceeded to wrap a phone charging cable around his neck, choking him three times until he made gurgling noises. She then used a metal pole from a drying rack to repeatedly strike him on the thighs, buttocks, and stomach for several hours, expressing her displeasure at his denials.
Neyland later sent a text to a friend boasting about her actions, referring to the boy as a derogatory term and expressing hope to avoid imprisonment. The day after the brutal attack, Neyland kicked the boy in the face after he made what she considered an inappropriate comment and threatened to kill him.
Upon her arrest, Neyland admitted her actions but maintained the accusations she had made against the boy. However, no evidence of inappropriate content was found on the boy’s phone by the police. In January, Neyland received a five-month non-parole period, which South Australia’s Director of Public Prosecutions deemed too lenient and subsequently appealed.
During the appeal, Prosecutor Michael Foundas argued that the initial sentence was already too merciful, especially given the short non-parole period. The Court of Appeals acknowledged the significant ongoing harm inflicted on the victim by Neyland’s offenses and, as a result, extended her non-parole period to 13 months.
According to the Adelaide Advertiser, the court ruling stated, “It was attended by several serious features, including that the complainant was a vulnerable nine-year-old child, who, at the time of the offending, was in the respondent’s care and protection without the ability to independently access support or advocate for himself.
He also sustained not insignificant physical injuries as a result of the attack and continues to suffer from emotional and psychological trauma and nightmares. Moreover, the offending was not isolated nor confined to a spontaneous incident but involved numerous assaults coupled with threats, over two days, as well as the use of weapons.” Neyland will be eligible to apply for release in February 2024.