Riverine Herald

Breakthrough in Echuca cold case investigation

By Riverine Herald

UPDATE 4:14pm: Moments ago Angela's mother Tania Walker and her then partner Daniel Simmons faced Echuca Magistrates Court and were charged with child homicide.

Simmons was remanded in custody this afternoon to appear in Bendigo Magistrates Court on June 12. 

UPDATE 4:04pm: Angela Bannister's mother Tania Walker has been remanded in custody to Bendigo tomorrow for a bail application.

Homicide Squad detectives have made a breakthrough in their cold case investigation into the 2008 death of 23-month-old Angela Bannister following the arrest of a man and woman in Echuca today.

The pair, a 35-year-old woman and 44-year-old man, were arrested in Echuca this morning.

The arrests follow a cold case review of the investigation in which a young Angela Bannister died in suspicious circumstances in Echuca on 19 July, 2008.

The man and woman will appear at Echuca Magistrates’ Court shortly each charged with one count of child homicide.

The Riverine Herald published multiple articles in July 2012 the about the findings after they were handed down. These outlined what was found by coroner Richard Wright in 2011 that Angela’s death was caused by injuries caused by her mother Tania Walker, her mother’s partner Daniel Simmons, or both acting together.

A bite mark on the face of the Echuca toddler, on the day before her death, was caused by a human, not a dog, a coronial inquest was told.

Angela's father Bradley Bannister welcomed the coroner’s findings and labelled them ‘‘a relief’’.

Tania Walker

Angela had more than 20 injuries, including internal haemorrhaging, rib injuries and a fractured pelvis. The medical evidence is that Angela died of chest injuries.

She had been taken to Echuca hospital by ambulance after it was called by her mother.

CPR was performed on Angela by her mother’s partner, ambulance paramedics and hospital staff, but she was pronounced dead at 6.52am.

Ms Walker and Mr Simmons told the inquest Angela’s death came the day after she was allegedly attacked by a dog outside the former Go-Lo store in Echuca.

Colin Bannister (left) was present at yesterday's inquest in support of his son Bradley Bannister, Angela's father.