Thousands have supported a family's plea to keep their little boy's killer in prison after he launched a bid for early release following just four years behind bars.
Matthew James Ireland, 33, was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years over the March 2015 manslaughter of Hemi Goodwin-Burke while he was babysitting the 18-month-old toddler in the North Queensland town of Moranbah.
He became eligible for parole on Saturday and has already applied to be released, which means he could a free man within three weeks.
The news sparked outrage from Hemi's devastated parents Shane Burke and Kerri-Ann Goodwin.
'Yesterday, our family was told the unbelievable news which, we still can't fathom. Hemi's killer has applied for parole, you dirty, scum, oxygen thief, you took our son's life and you destroyed our girls lives,' Ms Goodwin posted on the Justice for Hemi Facebook page on Sunday.
'Our baby was violently pushed, punched and kicked in a sustained and vicious attack by a full grown man ... 78 bruises, ruptured internal organs, fractured bones and a severed brain stem. And his killer is going to be set free after only FOUR YEARS? HOW IS THIS FAIR?' Hemi's family states in the petition.
Hemi's parents want to plead their case in person to the parole board as to why Ireland should remain behind bars.
'This wasn't an accident. He beat Hemi to death. I just think it's so insulting to Hemi's memory and to the Queensland community as well,' Mr Burke told the Daily Mercury.
Ms Goodwin added: 'We want to keep our community safe. A child's life is worth more than four years.'
More than 5200 have signed a Change.org petition within hours of being set up, calling on parole board president Michael Burke to reject Ireland's parole application.
Thousands have supported a North Queensland family's plea to keep their little boy's killer in prison, who could walk free within weeks after just four years in jail.