Posts Tagged ‘Hall of Shame’

Mother jailed for assaulting kids

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Hall of Shame

Mother jailed for assaulting kids


A woman who repeatedly assaulted her three children, including a one-year-old boy, has been jailed for 3-1/2 years.

The 41-year-old woman has name suppression to protect the identity of her children. She was found guilty by a jury last month on nine counts of assault with a weapon and one of assault on a child under the age of 14.

During the Dunedin District Court trial, the jury heard evidence that the children were assaulted over a 21 month period with weapons that included a jug cord, tent pole, belt and wooden spoon during various incidents in Napier, Gisborne and Invercargill.

In sentencing today, Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said the children had “suffered tremendously” over the period of the offending.

He said they were assaulted for everyday occurrences and lived in “a climate of violence and fear”.

Five of the charges of assault with a weapon were representative charges and the judge said he was satisfied the assaults happened on a regular basis.

He advised the woman to read the victim impact reports for the three children, who were aged from one to nine years when the offending started.

He noted the woman had shown remorse after being found guilty but said it was unfortunate to put the children through a trial that included cross-examination in court by her attorney following their video statements.

The woman strenuously denied 11 of the 12 charges, only conceding that she had hit one of the children with a belt because he put a hole in a wall.

Her defence on that charge was one of reasonable force, a defence that is no longer available under new “anti-smacking” legislation but still applies in this case because the incident happened before the new law came into force.

Judge O’Driscoll said he had considered not only making the woman’s name public but also the names of her three children so that the wider public would know what they had been through and show understanding for their resulting behavioural problems.

Defence counsel Tim Fournier took some issue with the impact statements of the three victims, saying it was not proved their behavioural problems were solely the result of the assaults.

However, the judge said the victim reports made “disturbing reading” and the children’s potential in life had been seriously compromised by that.

The youngest boy was suffering from post traumatic stress and the other boys were having social difficulties, anger and grief issues and displaying violent tendencies.

Woman jailed over injuries to child

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Hall of shame

Woman jailed over injuries to child


Last updated 12:42 27/11/2009

A woman convicted of inflicting head injuries to her then three-year-old son has been told he is likely to need care for the rest of his life.

Itupa Julie Mikaio, 40, was today sentenced to a total of five years’ jail on three charges relating to incidents in Auckland in June last year.

In September, a High Court jury found Mikaio guilty of wounding son Benjamin with intent to injure and neglecting to provide him with the necessaries of life by delaying getting medical treatment.

Mikaio admitted the third charge she was sentenced on – injuring with intent.

That count related to an assault on Benjamin three days earlier, when he was struck on the body with a shoe and left with broken bones.

Justice Forrest Miller said the head injuries the boy received in the later incident had left him with bleak prospects of leading a normal life.

He noted a paediatrician’s evidence at trial that it was doubtful Benjamin, who now had difficulty walking and talking and needed to wear a skull cap when he went outside, would have independence as an adult.

Justice Miller said Mikaio had shown remorse and contrition, had no previous convictions and was considered to be at a low risk of offending.

He also accepted that Mikaio was under stress at the time through being pregnant and having four other children as well as Benjamin to look after.

However, serious violence had been involved, the attacks had been prolonged and Benjamin had been vulnerable.

The judge said Mikaio had also sought to excuse herself “by advancing the fanciful notion” that the head injuries were the result of an accident.

Mikaio was charged after Benjamin was taken to Starship Hospital unconscious.

During the trial, the court was told that Benjamin was brought up by his paternal grandmother in Samoa between 2004 and 2007, when he went to live with Mikaio in Auckland.

However, mother and child had trouble bonding, and Mikaio found Benjamin troublesome and was also upset by his bedwetting.

The cause of the assault in which Benjamin received his head injuries was apparently because he had wet his bed again.

After that attack, Benjamin collapsed and Mikaio, who covered him with blankets and prayed for him, waited five hours before seeking help from a Samoan faith healer, who told her to get an ambulance.

Justice Miller said Benjamin had nearly died from internal bleeding and he drew the inference that the damage to his brain could have been materially reduced if an ambulance had been called earlier.

The defence had argued that Mikaio was not aware of how serious the injuries were.

Call for Urgent Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

12 August 2009
Call for Urgent Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse
Family First NZ is repeating its call for an official inquiry into the unacceptable levels of child abuse in NZ. The call comes after the death of a 2-year old child in Kaitaia, the investigation into the critical injuries suffered by a Whangarei toddler, and an admission by police of “unacceptable” delays and insufficient investigation into child abuse cases – especially in the Wairarapa.
“The 80% plus of NZ’ers who oppose the anti-smacking law are not people who are demanding the right to ‘assault’ and ‘beat’ children,” says Bob McCoskrie of Family First. “They are simply kiwis who are exasperated with the fact that politicians and supposed family welfare groups are more interested in targeting good parents than tackling the tougher issues of family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, violence in our media, poverty and stress, and weak family ties.”
“The anti-smacking bill has been a spectacular failure because it has failed to identify and target the real issues.
It was simply about a political agenda rather than practical solutions.”
“Since the passing of the anti-smacking law, there has been a continual stream of child abuse cases and the rate of child abuse deaths has continued at the same rate as before the new law with 14 deaths since the law was passed,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“These latest cases are yet another wake-up call that children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse.”
“An independent Inquiry free of political correctness and agendas would be an important first step,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Since Anti-smacking law was passed

1. 16 month old Sachin Dhani June 2007
2. 28-year-old woman charged with murdering a newborn baby found dead in the backyard of a Te Mome Road property in Alicetown – June 2007
3. 22-month-old Tyla-Maree Darryl Flynn June 2007
4. 3 year old Nia Glassie July 2007
5. Ten-month-old Jyniah Mary Te Awa September 2007 Manurewa
6. Two-month-old Tahani Mahomed December 2007 Otahuhu
7. 3 year old Dylan Hohepa Tonga Rimoni April 2008 Drury
8. A 27-year-old Dunedin mother of five admitted infanticide. On May 26 she lost control, banged the baby’s head repeatedly against the couch, choked her, then threw her on the bed and covered her with a blanket. May 2008
9. 7-year-old Duwayne Toetu Taote Pailegutu. July 2008
10. 16-month old Riley Justin Osborne (Kerikeri) boy Dec 2008
11. Three-year-old Cherish Tahuri-Wright (Marton) Feb 2009
12. Five-week-old Jayrhis Ian Te Koha Lock-Tata (Taupo) Mar 2009
13. One-year-old Trent James Matthews – aka Michael Matthews Jun 2009
14. Two-year-old Jacqui Peterson-Davis Kaitaia Aug 09

For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:
Tel. 09 261 2426 | Mob. 027 55 555 42