Father tells of baby in child abuse death case

Matene Te Aho stands at about 1.8 metres, is covered in tattoos and weighs more than 125kg.

Get him talking about his dead five-month-old son though, and his compassion and loss is palpable.

Mikara Ranui Jarius Reti died shortly after family members on his maternal side took him from Flaxmere to Hawke’s Bay Hospital last Tuesday.

Children’s advocates say New Zealand is right to feel a “sense of shame” over rates of child abuse, after the latest death.

Police have arrested and charged a 21-year-old Hastings man with manslaughter.

The man appeared in Hastings District Court on Saturday and was remanded in custody. He has interim name suppression and is due to reappear today.

Mr Te Aho said he had been told his son suffered blunt force trauma to his liver, which caused internal bleeding, leading to his death. He also had fractured ribs.

“It’s pretty hard to hear that. I’m just so sorry my son’s last moments in life were painful. I don’t know why anyone would want to hurt him so much.”

The dead boy – known as Jarius after Jarius Wharerau from Whangarei, a champion in the motorsport drifting – was Mr Te Aho’s only child.

Mr Te Aho said he had little to do with the boy’s mother, Jamie Te Whare, who had another son aged about two and was pregnant.

“When I looked in his eyes the first time, I’d never felt the love like that before … but he’s gone now. All we can do is remember him for what he was. He was the best man I ever knew, that fella.”

Mr Te Aho said he had considered taking fulltime care of his son, but believed it was best he live with his mother.

“I loved my mum and I didn’t want to take that away from my son. He would have loved his mother as much as I loved mine.”

Read more here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4550467/Father-tells-of-baby-in-child-abuse-death-case


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