Justice Sarah Katz compared the case of Moko Rangitoheriri to other past child abuse cases in NZ but stressed that the offending was at the most serious end of the scale of all manslaughter cases.
While she did accept there were a range of reasons Tania Shailer and David Haerewa struggled to cope with their circumstances, she said other families in similar situations did not kill the children in their care.
Appearing before Justice Katz, Shailer and Haerewa were made to listen to graphic details about the culture of violence they created within their home. They had six children in their care. However, it was three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri that was targeted. He suffered six weeks of abuse by Shailer and Haerewa.
The mother of Moko presented an impact statement in the High Court. She directed her hurt towards Shailer.
Nicola Daly-Paki said, “You're meant to be my friend, someone that I could trust, but instead to butcher and kill my child…”
As she spoke tears flowed, ending with one clear message to the judge.
“Have no remorse on them, your honour. They showed no remorse on my son.”
Moko died on August 10 last year in Taupō. Both Shailer and Haerewa did not seek any medical treatment for him leading up to his death and, when investigated by police, lied about the injuries found on him.