Cash McKinnon knew violence before her birth

Cash McKinnon knew violence before her birth

Mother beaten while pregnant, forced into hiding

By MICHAEL CUMMINGS – The Manawatu Standard

GRIEVING: Children clutched flowers and pink butterflies as they helped lay little Cash McKinnon to rest yesterday. It was a sunny, still day, as more than 200 friends and whanau from throughout New Zealand gathered at Poupatate Marae, near Halcombe, to farewell the 3-year-old who died from non-accidental head injuries on Thursday.

GRIEVING: It was a sunny, still day, as more than 200 friends and whanau from throughout New Zealand gathered at Poupatate Marae to farewell Cash McKinnon who died from non-accidental head injuries on Thursday.

Cash McKinnon had known violence since before she was born.

The death last week of the 3-year-old Palmerston North girl sparked a homicide investigation after an autopsy revealed she died from non-accidental head injuries.

Last week was not the first time little Cash experienced violence.

The Manawatu Standard can reveal that Cash’s father, Nikki Douglas, physically abused her mother Ngamiri McKinnon even when she was pregnant with their child.

Mr Douglas’ regular beatings of Cash’s mother eventually led to Ms McKinnon’s stepfather, Reginald Ian Pullen, stabbing him several times in the head, body and arm in retribution in February 2007.

Ms McKinnon’s family had put her and Cash in a safe house to escape the abuse, but Pullen told police Mr Douglas began harassing the family in an effort to find her, and even moved into a house across the street from Pullen and his partner.

In a recorded interview with police the night of the stabbing, Pullen said Mr Douglas used his stepdaughter “like a punching bag”, even when she was pregnant.

Pullen was charged and Mr Douglas gave evidence against him at a depositions hearing.

He admitted beating Ms McKinnon. “We’ve had fist fights … I’ve slapped her face a few times, yeah.”

Asked by Pullen’s lawyer if he’d beaten his partner while she was pregnant, he said “I don’t know, you’d have to look that up … I don’t know”.

The lawyer asked Mr Douglas why Pullen stabbed him. Mr Douglas said “if I put myself in his shoes”, Pullen would want to do whatever it took to make his daughter happy.

“Kids are something to fight for, women aren’t. They’re just everyday things, like undies.”

Pullen pleaded guilty before his trial and was sentenced to more than three years’ jail.

Cash was found unconscious with critical head injuries at a Hulme St house about 1.20pm last Wednesday.

She died in Palmerston North Hospital just before noon the following day, with her family at her bedside. Her funeral was held yesterday at Poupatate Marae, in Tokorangi.

Ms McKinnon’s new partner, a 21-year-old man, was the only adult at the house at the time Cash is thought to have received her injuries. The man, who the Standard has chosen not to name, was looking after Cash and three other children aged 2, 4 and 6.

He lived with Ms McKinnon at the house, but they don’t have any children together. Police would not comment on the man’s involvement.

Detective Sergeant Simon Harrison yesterday said the scene examination of the Hulme St house and inquiries in the area had been completed.

No arrests had been made, but more interviews would be done this week, Mr Harrison said.


We need to target REAL child abuse, not REAL parents.


One response to “Cash McKinnon knew violence before her birth”

  1. This is a very cursull case it comes down to child negelct and abuse.

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