Moko's killers sentenced to 17 years

The highest sentence for manslaughter of a child, in New Zealand, was handed to Tania Shailer and David William Haerewa when they were sentenced to 17 years in prison for killing three year-old Moko Rangitoheriri.

 Moko – facebook


The couple must serve a minimum period of nine years in prison, each.

Summary of facts on the court file said Moko was subjected to months of abuse, leaving him with a ruptured bowel and head injury that killed him.

In her summing up, Justice Katz said Moko was subject to extreme violence which was long and gratuitous and was witnessed by other children in the house.

The evidence showed that he had been smothered and his eyes were so swollen, he could barely see- and when he was taken to the hospital so swollen the nurse couldn’t open his eyes to check his pupils. He also had bruises and bite marks on his face.

Justice Katz said the violence committed by the couple was a "joint enterprise" and while it was likely Shailer committed the fatal stomping, Haerewa encouraged it.

Moko's mother Nicola Dally-Paki, in her statement to the court, described Shailer and Haerewa as "evil" and "monsters" for their psychological and physical abuse.

Justice Katz had warned the packed public gallery to keep their emotions in check, despite their distress and pain.

Murder charges against the pair had been downgraded to manslaughter, prompted calls for tougher rules governing plea-bargaining and an overhaul of the homicide laws.

As sentencing began on the 27th of June, about 500 protesters gathered outside the High Court in Rotorua, with similar events being held throughout the country, seeking justice for the slain boy.

Some 120 people gathered outside the High Court in Hamilton with a unified call of 'justice for Moko'.

People have taken to social media to express disappointment: 




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