You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Man jailed for eight years for baby killing

Radio New Zealand Radio New Zealand 20/07/2016

no caption: Michael Kereopa © RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King Michael Kereopa

Michael Kereopa has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his six-month-old step-daughter who died in Kapiti Coast in July last year.

Kereopa was in a relationship with Gracie McSorley's mother and was looking after the baby while her mother was out picking up another child.

He lost his temper when Gracie would not settle and lashed out, hitting her on the side of her head.

She later died in hospital.

Kereopa was sentenced by Justice Rebecca Ellis at the High Court in Wellington today.

Ms Ellis said Kereopa's accounts of his actions did not match the medical reports of Gracie's injuries.

She said words could not describe what Gracie's family had gone through because of a moment of "brutal and profound stupidity".

Kereopa's defence laywer, Bruce Hesketh, told the court Kereopa cracked under pressure and did not have a history of abuse.

He said that if Kereopa could take back his actions he would.

Gracie's family, including her mother, were in High Court at Wellington for the sentencing this morning.

Outside court, Gracie's aunt, Victoria Balmforth, said eight years was not enough and the family wanted her killer in prison for life.

"Life for a life," she said.

She said Gracie's younger sister should not have grow up thinking "Gracie is a rainbow".

She spoke of the toll the death has taken on the family, and said they now did not trust anyone from outside.

More From Radio New Zealand

Radio New Zealand
Radio New Zealand
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon