Stepfather Charged After Disabled Son Drowned In Bathtub
Bec Horton walked out on her allegedly violent partner, Charlie Younes for a better life.
But a week later, tragedy struck -- her disabled 18-year-old son "Stevie" was found dead, lying face down in the bath.
It was her former partner Younes -- Stevie's stepfather -- who raised the alarm at 2.14am, despite being told he was unwelcome in the home that night.
Younes woke the family screaming out that he'd found the 18-year-old in the bath. By the time paramedics arrived, Stevie was dead.
Investigators have never let go of this case and on Wednesday, 44-year-old Younes faced court charged with his step son's murder.
Steven Copo-Horton was affectionately called Stevie by his family. He had Angelman Syndrome, which meant he couldn't walk or talk, and had the intellectual age of a very young child.
That's what has always troubled the family and investigators -- how he could possibly get out of bed, make his way to the bathroom, and run a bath for himself.
At 6am on Tuesday, after extensive investigations, police arrested Younes at his Merrylands home and charged him with murder.
Police allege Younes deliberately drowned the 18-year-old in the bathtub that night, just a week after his former partner Bec Horton ended their relationship.
Investigators searched his home, seizing mobile phones, a laptop, a small quantity of prohibited drugs and two prohibited weapons.
"Investigators never gave up on this case and today, five years on from the initial police response, we have now put a man before the courts," Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said.
It's been a long and difficult five years for Stevie's family, who say the pain of losing someone so special is still raw.
"Stevie was so full of life; always happy and full of hugs and kisses," said the family in a statement.
"Stevie touched the lives of so many people just by being him."
Outside court on Wednesday, Horton told 10 News First of her love for her son.
"I think Steven taught us all how to be good people," she said.
"If it wasn't for him being in our family, I don't know if we'd be as good as we are now."
Younes was refused bail and will remain behind bars until his next appearance in February.