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Moko's killers seek reduced jail time

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/11/2016 Cassie Devoy

Nicola Dally-Paki © Mediaworks Nicola Dally-Paki The mother of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri has said no sentence will be long enough for the pair who killed her son, outside the Court of Appeal in Wellington this morning.

The couple, who have each been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment appealed their sentence on Thursday, were not in court but Moko's mother Nicola Dally-Paki was.

Her lawyer, Arama Ngapo-Lipscombe, said the appeal is part of their legal right, but that it was difficult for Ms Dally-Paki to sit through details of Moko's death.

In the Court of Appeal this morning Tania Shailer's lawyer said she should spend less time in prison due to her mental health issues.

Ron Mansfield told the court that 26-year-old Shailer, sentenced to 17 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of the toddler, had lost her perspective on the boy's behaviour due to her illness.

"She was intending to do the best for her own family and children, with limited means. The introduction of two new children into the home with complex needs impacted her mental health."

He says she struggled with adjustment disorder, anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

"Her offending was a direct impact of her mental health ... we don't punish the unwell, we punish the intended," he said.

A more appropriate sentence, taking in her mental illness, remorse and guilty plea, would be 10-12 years, Mr Mansfield said.

"She is ill. She will respond to treatment and her risk of reoffending is low."

Tania Shailer and David Haerewa © Newshub Tania Shailer and David Haerewa

But Crown lawyer Brendan Horsley said Shailer was using her claimed disassociative state was her trying to minimise her liability and culpability and said a psychiatric report into her mental state was contradictory.

Mr Horsley said it was obvious that Moko needed medical help.

"Her mental illness did not prevent her from doing this. She clearly said she didn't want to lose her children by taking Moko to hospital.

"This is not a woman who is in a disassociative state, or even PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). She is trying to avoid the consequences of her actions."

Moko Rangitoheriri © Mediaworks Moko Rangitoheriri

Neither Shailer nor co-accused David Haerewa, 43, who is also appealing his sentence, were in court but Moko's mother Nicola Dally-Paki was.

The pair were handed the heaviest sentence for the manslaughter of a child in June after beating and kicking the boy when he was left in their care in Taupo.

Haerewa's lawyer Harry Edward said his client's involvement in the boy's death was not as serious as Shailer's.

Mr Edward said he should be treated as less culpable, as the court originally accepted he was.

But Mr Horsley said Haerewa hated the child and did not want him in the house he shared with Shailer and subjected Moko to the most degrading treatment and said he wanted to "break" the child.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision.

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