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Woman discharged without conviction

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/06/2015
Wanganui Hospital © SNPA Wanganui Hospital

The Whanganui mother who left her toddler in a car on a hot summer's day with fatal consequences has been discharged without conviction.

The 35-year-old health professional appeared for sentencing in the High Court at Whanganui on Friday.

She has admitted a charge of manslaughter after the 16-month-old boy was left in a car on a hot summer's day in a car park at Whanganui Hospital in January.

As Justice Simon France read out his sentencing notes, the woman started shaking and wept uncontrollably in the dock.

Justice France told the court that a conviction would outweigh the gravity of the offending.

He said the incident occurred because of an extraordinary blanking of the mind which no doubt was due to extreme tiredness after a long hours at work.

"She believed she had dropped him at the creche," Justice France said.

"It is fair to note that this tiredness stemmed from selflessness and commitment to the community rather than any personal activity."

The names of the woman, her child and husband were permanently suppressed.

Family First NZ welcomed the discharge without conviction, saying the death of the toddler was punishment enough.

The lobby group says police should have used discretion and not pursued a prosecution.

"The drawn out court process has served no public benefit," Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First NZ, said.

"It appears to be simply a tragic tragic mistake."

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