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Toddler killers jailed for at least 30yrs

A NSW couple will sit in prison for more than 30 years after the inhumane torture and murder of a toddler.

Joseph had lived with extended family for three years but in the two months he was with his mother and stepfather in the NSW town of Oberon he had his head slammed in a cupboard, eyes covered with duct tape and naked body shut in a freezing esky.

His stepfather, 48, told police he taped a ball into the child's mouth and caused his penis to swell by flicking it with a wooden spoon.

The final, fatal attack came in early August 2014.

Joseph's mother was jailed on Thursday for 44 years with a non-parole period of 33 years and her husband for 40 years with a non-parole period of 30 years. Justice Johnson said they were "de-facto life sentences".

The couple admitted regularly abusing the boy but maintain he died after tripping over a rope tied to the family dogs during a trip to the local park.

The "ruse" was rejected by the jury and the sentencing judge.

The 43-year-old mother said Joseph "just pushed my buttons too many times" and she "didn't connect with him".

"I had so many thoughts about killing Joey," she told police.

"Don't get me wrong, I did love that boy, but there was part of me that hated him because he looked like his father."

Detective Sergeant Joel Fawkner said the case has been "very traumatic" with some police and ambulance officers leaving their jobs as a result.

"The inhumane torture and acts upon Joseph ... you can't unsee what we've seen," he said on Thursday.

Joseph's stepfather will be eligible for parole in 2044 and his mother eligible three years later.

© AAP 2017