The last time Belinda Valentine saw her beloved granddaughter alive, the screaming four-year-old clung to her like a koala and begged not to be returned home.
The next time she saw Chloe Valentine, the little girl looked like a swollen, bruised, broken doll.
After Chloe’s life support was turned off, her grandmother held her, whispering how much she was loved, while the girl’s mother and her new partner left the hospital before she was pronounced dead.
Ms Valentine told the South Australian Supreme Court of her grief on Tuesday, at the sentencing hearing of her daughter, Ashlee Polkinghorne, 22, and Benjamin McPartland, 27.
They have pleaded guilty to the manslaughter by neglect of Chloe in January 2012, at their Adelaide home.
Over a three-day period, Chloe was made to repeatedly ride a 50kg motorbike in the backyard.
She suffered massive injuries after separate incidents in which the bike crashed into a shed and pot plants, fell on top of her and smashed into a tree.
The crown prosecutor said that after the first day, video footage showed Chloe with a black eye which was so severe that it was almost closed.
An ambulance was not summonsed until some time after the tree crash.
Justice Trish Kelly described as “utterly chilling” the video footage of Chloe opening Christmas presents the month before her death.
Chloe was plainly frightened of McPartland and of another person, presumably her mother, the judge said.
Ms Valentine said when she returned Chloe after her last visit, her daughter snatched the crying girl saying she was her child, slammed the door and refused to let the family see Chloe any more.
She was now haunted by Chloe screaming that she didn’t want her grandmother to leave.
Ms Valentine said she wanted Chloe to wear a newly-purchased princess outfit at her funeral, but Polkinghorne questioned why, saying “they are only going to burn her”.
The court was told Ms Valentine, her husband, their two young sons and Polkinghorne’s older brother were not allowed to attend the funeral, while Chloe’s distraught father was told to sit up the back and not bring any of his family.
In his victim impact statement, Thomas Lagden said: “I believe Ashlee killed the only thing that made her human which was my daughter Chloe”.
Ms Valentine said she still loved her daughter, who had a happy upbringing but always blamed everyone else for her own mistakes.
Her husband, Steven Harvey, said he loved Chloe, who would still be alive if Families SA had allowed her to live with them.
In his victim impact statement, Chad Valentine, who was nine when his niece Chloe died, said he loved her so much and cut his hair because he wanted to look as ugly on the outside as he felt on the inside.
“Can you please tell Ashlee, I love her but I am disappointed she has been so mean to our family,” the youngster said.
The couple will be sentenced on a later date.