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Moko's killer gets appeal date

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/10/2016

Moko Rangitoheriri © Mediaworks Moko Rangitoheriri The woman jailed for 17 years for killing three-year-old Taupo boy Moko Rangitoheriri will have her appeal against her sentence heard next month.

The Court of Appeal will hear the appeal for 26-year-old Tania Shailer on November 3.

Shailer and her boyfriend David Haerewa, 43, were each jailed for 17 years in the High Court at Rotorua in June after Moko died while in their care in August last year.

It was the highest sentence imposed in New Zealand for the manslaughter of a child. They must serve a minimum term of nine years.

Haerewa has also lodged an appeal against his sentence.

They were initially charged with the murder of Moko Rangitoheriri but later admitted a lesser charge of manslaughter - which prompted a public outcry.

Moko's injuries were horrific. His eyes were so badly swollen hospital staff couldn't open his eyelids to check his pupils. The pair had begun assaulting the boy as their animosity towards him grew and so did the intensity of the beatings.

It sparked protests around the country calling for a united voice against child abuse and a petition calling for an urgent change to the law which allowed the charge against Moko's killers to be downgraded in exchange for a guilty plea.

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