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Harsher punishment for child abusers/murders in NZ

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If you don't know already, you will soon enough, Child killer Lisa Michelle Kuka, 43, was sentenced to nine years jail in 2007 on two counts of manslaughter following the death of three-year-old Nia Glassie in Rotorua.

In 2007 Nia Glassie died at the age of three, due to severe brain damage. Wiremu Curtis (her mother's partner) and his brother Michael Curtis were charged with her murder, Lisa Kuka (her mother) was charged with failing to provide the necessities of life and failing to protect a child from violence. The court report stated that Nia had been subjected to violence for up to two months preceding while in the care of Wiremu Curtis. This abuse was said to be part of Nia's day-to-day life and included two major incidents where Nia was hung from a clothesline which was spun until she fell and putting her in a clothes dryer and turning this on. On 20 July 2007 Nia received kicks to her head which ultimately resulted in her death. She was eventually taken to hospital two days later after residing in a partial coma for this period where she died 13 days later.[7] The trauma inflicted upon Nia was widely publicized within the New Zealand community and her story became the 'poster story' to encourage New Zealanders to report child abuse happening in their community.

I am sad to say Nia Glassie is not a lone victim.

In 2007 the rate of deaths of children and young persons under the age of 19 years in New Zealand caused by accidents, murder, suicide or violence were extremely high compared with other OECD countries, with New Zealand having the highest rate of such deaths along with the United States.[2] The reports by the Child Poverty Action Group of New Zealand confirms this need to be aware of the increasing statistic of child abuse findings. A trend can be noticed of increasing concern for child abuse, as in the 2013 financial year compared with 2012 there was an increase in child abuse reports as well as substantive findings.[3] The report also details the types of abuse suffered and where this abuse is most prevalent, stating that sexual abuse as a form of child abuse within New Zealand made up the smallest percentage of abused children, and defined the main form of abuse as emotional abuse,[4]:8 also that across the many site offices where child abuse was recorded, Papakura, a suburb of Auckland, had the highest rate of child abuse cases, with Wellington having the fewest reported cases.

The Kahui twins

This case is still unsolved with Chris Kahui (the father of the twins) found not guilty for the murders of Christopher and Cru Kahui. Both twins died June 18, 2006 from blunt force trauma causing brain injury. It was suggested that this injury was caused by either direct blows to the head or being thrown against a firm surface or severe shaking. The death of the Kahui twins stunned the New Zealand community and was one of the contributing factors towards the New Zealand response campaign 'Never Shake A Baby'.

Tahani Mahomed
Tahini Mahomed died 1 January 2008 after being admitted to hospital 28 December 2007 due to failure to feed. Upon admission to the hospital her condition was upgraded to critical due to head injuries consistent with being hit with great force. Mr Mahomed was charged on one count of murder of Tahani two counts of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and failing to provide the necessities of life and Ms Mahomed with failure to provide necessities of life. It was found during admission that Tahini as well as suffering from recent head trauma was also recovering from a previous broken leg and head injury that were in the process of healing.

Duwayne Pailegutu
Duwayne died on July 2, 2008 due to 75 external injuries from assault by his step father Mr Joachim that left him paralyzed on one side and difficulty breathing. Mr Joachim was sentenced to 18 years non parole for his death. Duwayne’s injuries were the result of a Mr Joachim's assault on 24 June 2008 and his subsequent neglect to seek treatment for the boy after the attack.

Tyla-Maree Flynn

Tokoroa toddler Tyla-Maree Flynn's life ended at just 22 months after she was badly burnt by hot water on June 28, 2007, an inquest finally revealed the abuse she suffered leading up to her death. A toddler scalded to death by having her head forced into hot water would still be alive if her caregiver had sought medical attention immediately, an inquest into her death has revealed. Tokoroa toddler Tyla-Maree Flynn was 22 months old when she was severely burnt while in the care of her mother's partner, Rikki Hotham (also known as Riki Hopa). Medical attention was not sought until 16 hours after she was burnt when her mother Lisa-Maree Barron returned home from a night out, Tyla-Maree died an hour after reaching Tokoroa Hospital. Hotham told police Tyla-Maree was burnt when her older brother turned on a hot shower but an autopsy showed otherwise and Hotham was eventually charged with her murder. However, Whiti Te Rau (Rikki) Hopa, 31, who was also known as Rikki Hotham, was driving a Holden overtaking a light truck when he collided head-on with an SUV on State Highway 1 near Tokoroa. Angela Wolley, the 32-year-old Mt Eden woman who was a mother, wife and also pregnant at the time, died at the scene of the crash While Hopa was awaiting trial. Hotham had already breached the conditions of his bail - which included not using alcohol or drugs and not contacting children under 16 by reporting to police while drunk about three months prior, He was found to have cannabis when officers searched him, however was released. Lisa Barron stood by Hopa and that she is in the early stages of another pregnancy to him. Tyla-Maree's Father, William Flynn was at the time fighting for custody of his daughter however was court ordered to return Tyla-Maree back to the care of her alcoholic mother until a decision was made.

We don't need anymore campaigns or promises what we need are harsher punishments for Child abusers, Child Murders should be given life sentences and they should serve that entire sentence in Jail. We do not want them in our community and we do not want them near our children. A life for a life, the NZ Government need to pull their finger out and ensure these types of monsters never see the light of day again.

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