Kevin Joseph Charles Little
NZ Womens Weekly storyhere
NZ Herald story 16th March 2007
A man convicted of drowning his baby daughter has been given a life sentence with a non-parole period of 17 years after being told the killing was a callous act on a vulnerable, defenceless victim. Kevin Joseph Charles Little was last month convicted of murdering his seven-month-old daughter Alyssa Patricia Little-Murphy. Today, sentencing Little in the High Court in Nelson, Justice Warwick Gendall told him his defence had been rejected by the jury as being unbelievable.
Little had said he had been holding Alyssa on his hip while getting out of the bath at his Nelson home on March 25 2006 and had slipped, knocking himself unconscious and presumably dropping Alyssa back into the bath. Justice Gendall said statements by Little, 27, of Kaitangata, South Otago, at the time of the drowning that he had left the baby alone in the bath had later been denied and the evidence was that he had never left the bathroom.
Evidence had been heard that the baby had been fully immersed for at least three and possibly five minutes, during which time Little had made no attempt to pick her up or to start resuscitation procedures. The baby's mother Chontelle Murphy found her floating in the bath after hearing a loud groan from the bathroom. Little was standing beside the bath with a towel wrapped around his waist and with no noticeable water on the floor. Prolonged CPR failed to revive the child.
Justice Gendall said the groan and Little's subsequent distress suggested he realised the horror of what he had done. He said there was no doubt that Little initially was a loving father who participated fully in his baby's care but the acrimonious breakdown of his relationship with Miss Murphy, and stress relating to his resignation from his job, led to some dysfunctional behaviour in weeks leading up to Alyssa's death. This included assertions that he would take Alyssa away from Miss Murphy if she left him.
Justice Gendall said: "Only you would know the reasons why you did that (kill Alyssa) but it may have been to prevent your partner having the child. You acted in a moment of madness." He said the aggravating circumstances of the case included the baby's vulnerability and the serious breach of trust to both the baby and her mother. He also pointed to a degree of callousness with relation to the time it would have taken the baby to drown, the non-removal of the baby from the bath, and the impact on the mother and her family.
Date of Birth
Killed his 7 month old daughter at his then partner's Nelson home in March 2006
Sentenced to a minimum 17 year sentence in March 2007
Earliest parole date February 2024
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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