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

Protests mark Moko's killers' sentencing

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/06/2016

Moko Rangitoheriri © NZ Police Moko Rangitoheriri Two people are about to be sentenced for manslaughter over the appalling death of a three-year-old Taupo boy while protesters gather outside court houses around the country angry at the deal they got for the lesser charge.

Early childhood teacher Tania Shailer, 26, and David William Haerewa, 43, are due to be sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua on Monday morning.

They were initially charged with the murder of Moko Rangitoheriri, who was in their care last year, but they 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.

When Moko soiled himself he had faeces rubbed in his face.

The main event that caused his death was when Shailer stomped on his stomach so hard he could not control his bowels.

His death follows similar high-profile child abuse cases such as Nia Glassie, James Whakaruru, and the Chris and Cru Kahui twins.

It sparked an online campaign called Stand UP NZ - Justice for Moko, which has organised Monday's court house protests and is calling for a united voice against child abuse.

It's also promoting a petition calling for an urgent change to the law which allowed Moko's killers to bargain for a lesser charge.

Despite the lesser charge of manslaughter, Shailer and Haerewa still face the possibility of the maximum available term of life imprisonment.

Grandmother of Moko Rangitoheriri speaks during a march to bring awareness to child abuse and family violence. © Hannah Peters/Getty Images Grandmother of Moko Rangitoheriri speaks during a march to bring awareness to child abuse and family violence.
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon