Tanilla Warrick-Deaves
December 3, 2008 - August 27, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial
Over and over, too many times, I read and retell the stories of children who could have been saved had Child Protective Services done their job correctly. The story of Tanilla Warrick- Deaves is another story where multiple reports were made to CPS, in this case it was reported that 33 different complaints were made to an Australian service, yet a child ends up being abused to death, how could that be? Nathan Deaves, Tanilla's Uncle had made a complaint and their reply to him might be the best explanation:

"I had a case worker ring me and tell me to mind my business about this situation. A child's dead and
at the end of the day, that should never have happened. How could it fall through the system and end
with something like this happening? We will all live with this for the rest of our lives"

Here is a quote from a news article that I found about this case:

A REPORT compiled by the Department of Community Services has revealed the young girl who died under suspicious circumstances on the Central Coast on Saturday was in "grave danger" a month before she died.

The report, tabled by an unnamed DOCS worker on July 26, revealed two-year-old Tanilla Warrick-Deaves and her two young siblings were subjected to a "very high risk'' of abuse and neglect.

The children were observed but not interviewed by the caseworker.

Neighbours have also claimed they have heard the children screaming "Don't hit us anymore" and have complained directly to DoCS about being abused, according to 2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley this morning.

The neighbours also claimed to witness the parents using drugs in front of the children.

According to the report, the family has been reported to DoCS 30 times since 2004, following the birth of Tanilla's older sibling.

It seems to me that someone at Australia's version of Child Protective Services, called Department of Community Services or DOCS, should be held liable for the death of Tanilla and that Nathan should reveal the name and get charges filed against the person who told him to mind his business. It's time that CPS and DOCS and every other version of CPS that exists should realize that child abuse is the business of EVERYONE, we all have a responsibility to children since they are unable to help themselves.

Tanilla was almost three years old when she was beaten to death by a man named Warren Ross, her 28 year old "step-father", while her mother, Donna Deaves, who was also 28 years old, watched. Tanilla's injuries were described as non-accidental after her autopsy revealed bruises and welts all over her body which were consistent with having been beaten with a cord of some time. What did Tanilla do to deserve the abuse she suffered? Reports say that difficulty in potty training resulted in Tanilla being forced to run laps until she had blisters on her feet and when she didn't run fast enough, she was beaten. Tanilla had suffered at the hands of these two people for weeks before her death. Tanilla was thrown into a cold shower, crying and hurting and sustained even more injury to her already beaten body.

When he found out the death of his daughter was being treated as a homicide, Adrian Warrick was devastated:

"She was the best of me and now I have this grief that can't be taken away. I have cried all that I
can and now I have no tears left. Sometimes it appears that I'm fine, but I'm not. I will start getting
dizzy and not just that, but my legs will start giving way. I will be fine, then crying and then I'll be fine"
Adrian Warrick

Donna Deaves plead guilty to manslaughter, which was a deal she had accepted instead of pleading to murder. In court, it was revealed that Donna had told Warren to stop, after he banged Tanilla's head into the shower wall. Donna was aware that her daughter was dying and she kissed her good bye and the following day called Police to say that her daughter had stopped breathing. Donna didn't say a word to Police about what had really happened as Warren told them that Tanilla had fallen either from a bed or off of a bookcase. Donna was sentenced to only 12 years for allowing Warren to beat her daughter to death and not stepping in to help. Donna would have to serve only nine years before she would be eligible for parole. Donna said that she loved her daughter, but she was in fear for her life and was not sure what to do after Warren beat her daughter:

"Until you're in that position, it's impossible to say what it's like. When you're shocked and frightened or
scared it's really difficult to do anything"

Donna's comments make me sick to my stomach, what does she think Tanilla was feeling while she was being beaten and her mother stood by and didn't do a thing to stop it? What does she think Tanilla thought as she lay dying and her mother, the one who should have been on her side, sat back and did nothing to save her? Donna was given a beautiful, precious gift from God and she rejected that gift and allowed a monster to send that gift back to God like she meant nothing to her. The only good part is that Tanilla is now with God and Jesus and she is out of pain and feeling the love she should have felt all of her life.

Justice Rothmann said he could see that Donna had felt helpless, but that she should have taken her daughter to the hospital. Justice Rothmann also also knew that Donna had been abused by former partners and that she had a personality disorder and that she had not abused or hit Tanilla herself, but stated that she still had a responsibility toward her daughter to protect her and keep her safe:

"It's difficult to envisage a duty higher than the one society imposes on a parent toward his or her child"

Justice Rothmann said that Donna's excuse for not calling triple-0 was not consistent with someone who was remorseful and that seemed more focused on what the death of her daughter meant for her, rather than what the child had gone through. It was also said that CPS had failed to protect Tanilla and that she could have been saved had they intervened
in her case. Adrian Warrick, Tanilla's biological father said that when he had been allowed to see his daughter, she had bruises and looked malnourished and when he reported this to CPS he was always told that they had found Donna a fit parent to have custody of Tanilla:

"Eight months later she is murdered. I never saw Tanilla again until the day we buried her. This is how
I got my baby girl back, dead"

Brooke Bowen said that Tanilla had been let down by so many people, even DOCS who had received at least one complaint for every month of this child's life:

"Lets hope after all this something can change in the system. It's not going to bring Tanilla back, it's not
going to bring any other children back, but let's hope that this is an example to get them up on their toes"
Brook Bowen - Tanilla's step-mother

Brooke said that the family was happy with the sentence given to Donna. Donna's brother nathan said he and his family were okay with the sentence given to her:

"My sister will learn from this"

When Donna's mother Margaret told people outside of the court house that Tanilla was in a better place, she broke down in tears:

"When I go I'll join her and I'll be in a better place with that little child"

Warren Ross was arrested and charged with intimidation and two counts of using a carriage service to make threats to kill someone. After being arrested and charged with murdering Tanilla, Warren did not seek bail. Warren plead not guilty.

Carly Knight, a neighbor, saw a picture of Tanilla in the newspaper and knew right then that she knew who this little girl was and she knew she had witnessed Warren abusing her. Carly states that in August she had returned home from running errands and while removing her children and groceries from the car, she heard loud noises and then say a man who was yelling at a child, that child was Tanilla:

"His head was bobbing up and down, arms waving, he was just going crazy. He picked up that small child.
I could see her arms and legs waving around, he struck her. She flew through the air in front of him"

After hitting her, Carly says that Warren had to walk a few steps in order to reach her while she was crying. While having someone visiting, that visitor was witness to Warren hitting Tanilla with an extension cord as well as a wooden spoon to which he told the visitor, she just doesn't learn.

Defense Barrister, Sarah McNaughton SC, asked the jury, in her opening statement to:

"Keep in mind, the Crown's main witness, Donna Deaves was police's other main suspect for
causing the death of the child. Ms Deaves has also been known to be violent towards her children"

Sarah McNaughton said that Donna would be receiving a reduced sentence for helping in the prosecution of Warren and that the version of what happened she was now giving, was different than her original version.

"This will be a difficult trial for everyone and things may be more complicated than they first seem"
Sarah McNaughton

On the day I wanted to finish this page, I noticed news stories were reporting that the trial was still ongoing. I will try to watch and put the outcome of that trial on this page when it happens.


In December of 2013, Warren James Ross, who was at that time 30 years old, was found guilty of murder, to which people in the courtroom shouted "YES". Sue Patterson told her son she loved him and he told her it was alright and that it wasn't over. Outside was Adrian Warrick:

"Tanilla would have been five, two days ago. Justice has been done. I thank the jury for
the right decision"
Tanilla's Father

As of toady's date, May 23, 2014, I am unable to find out what sentence was given to Warren Ross.


(Sent to me just eight days after I made this page)

On May 30, 2014, Warren Ross was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years to a maximum of 40 years in prison for the murder of Tanilla, the earliest he would be out would be 2041. During court, Warren was making gestures towards Adrian, Tanilla's father. Warren shouted to Adrian as he left the courtroom:

"See ya later, Adrian"

Justice Stephen Rothman said that since Warren had not premeditated the murder of Tanilla, his crime did not fall into the most serious category of murder and also commented on how Warren had never shown any remorse for torturing and killing this little Angel:

"No person with a modicum of humanity could fail to be moved by this murder"

I want to thank Deanne for sending me this update. I continue to be thankful for all of the people who send me updates and stories of children who need to be added. I have been working for a few days looking for updates, doing spell checks and doing what I can to edit the pages, it helps a lot when people send updates and other mails that add to the pages.

This page was created on October 29, 2013
Death Occurred in Australia

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