May 04, 2016
Killing charge dilution upsets MPs
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is criticising prosecutors who reduced a murder charge to manslaughter against two people who killed a three-year-old boy left in their care.
Rotorua pair Tania Shailer, 24, and David William Haerewa, 43, this week pleaded guilty to the lesser charge, and they'll be sentenced next month.
Moko Rangitoheriri was beaten, kicked, stomped and bitten over the course of three months.
When an ambulance was finally called too late to save his life, Shailer claimed he had fallen from a wood pile.
Mr Peters says he'd be concerned if the charge was reduced to save prosecution costs.
"This does nothing for our country, it does nothing our Maori people and really it's an abomination that someone could be let off on a lesser charge," he says.
Winston Peters says Maori need to reject that level of violence in their communities.
The case also drew fire from the Maori Party, with co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell saying the lives of tamariki should not be bargained over in court.
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