A man has been released on bail after being charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to a five-year-old suffering serious injuries.
Police allege the man became aware a 21-year-old woman had caused injuries to the girl but tried to cover up what had happened.
The 30-year-old man appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court late on Monday afternoon, where he successfully applied for bail.
He cannot be named for legal reasons.
Detective Senior Constable Tim McHutchison, of the Warrnambool police sex offences and child abuse investigation team, told magistrate Cynthia Toose the girl, who was hospitalised on October 18, had suffered a range of injuries.
Those injuries included a haematoma to the base of her brain, a lacerated liver, spinal bruising, extensive bruising to her face, head and body and loose teeth.
Police put in place covert surveillance after the girl's hospitalisation sparked an investigation.
He told the court the woman had confided in the man that she had "lost it" and physically assaulted the girl until she was whimpering.
On presentation at hospital, doctors heard an inconsistent version of how the girl suffered her injuries and a younger sibling was blamed.
The girl has now disclosed to family members that she was punched and kicked and that her young brother tried to protect her but had been pushed away.
Solicitor Xavier Farrelly said his client, the man, had been surprised by the woman’s comments and it would be difficult to fathom how anyone would react in such a situation.
A woman has been charged with six offences – single counts of perjury, intentionally causing injury and recklessly causing serious injury and three counts of intentional sexual penetration.
The magistrate said it was a very concerning summary of the evidence and the charges were serious.
She bailed the man until a committal mention hearing on April 6 next year.
His bail conditions include that he report to Warrnambool police three times a week, not associate with the co-accused and obey other court orders.
The woman has been remanded in custody although she is expected to apply for bail on December 15.