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NZ Herald story 15th December 2009
A man has been jailed for at least 17 years for the "callous and cruel" murder of his 11-week-old daughter. Azees Mahomed, 31, received the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment but will serve a higher minimum sentence of 17 years because of serious aggravating factors. He was also sentenced on two counts of causing Tahani grievous bodily harm to five years jail on each charge, to be served concurrently with the life sentence. A five year term for failing to provide the necessaries of life, to be served concurrently, was also imposed. His wife Tabbasum Mahomed, 26, was jailed for four years for failing to provide the necessaries of life.
She was not charged with murder. The parents were found guilty after a 12 day trial in November. Tahani was admitted to Auckland's Starship Hospital on December 28, 2007 with serious head injuries. She died on January 1, 2008. The trial heard Tahani's head injuries were the result of being slammed against a hard "unforgiving" surface and she was the victim of ongoing neglect and violence during her short life. Sentencing the Mahomeds at the High Court at Auckland today, Justice Rhys Harrison Tahani lived, "I regret to say, a brief and grossly abused life". He said Tahani had no hope of survival and the fatal blow was "deliberate and brutal" that left her brain bruised, swollen and also blinded her.
Prosecutor Phil Hamlin said Tahani had "clearly suffered at the hands of her father", with a previous head injury and broken leg occurring "from acts of violence" before the fatal head injury was inflicted. Tahani had been neglected to such an extent she wasn't growing and hadn't been fed. When the little girl was admitted to hospital just before her death she was found to be malnourished and weighing only 4kg. Mr Hamlin said any parent should be able to tell a baby wasn't responding or feeding but the couple did nothing to help Tahani "when it must have been apparent" something was wrong with her. Mason said Aseez Mahomed had a low intellectual capacity, in the bottom three or four per cent for his age, that prevented him from reasoning logically and impaired his social judgement.
Ms Mason said his low IQ reduced his capacity to cope with a baby and was a relevant mitigating factor although she accepted no situation existed the defence could point to as pinpointing what exactly happened because Mahomed continued to deny the murder. Mrs Mahomed's lawyer, Paul Borich, said there was no evidence to support she was aware of her daughter's injuries. The symptoms doctors said she would have been suffering would have been "more apparent and more extreme" in an older child, and he argued Tahani's death was not an aggravating feature of the charge the jury found Mrs Mahomed guilty of. After the trial inquiry head Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Lynch said the investigation had been challenging and frustrating but he was pleased with the result. "It was very clear from early on in the investigation these were non accidental injuries and there were only two people who could have inflicted them."
Date of Birth
Tahani Mahomed (11 weeks)
Sentenced to a life with a minimum 17 years in December 2009
Eligible for parole November 2026
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links http://www.odt.co.nz/85960/couple-appeal-conviction-and-sentence
Azees Mahomed - Tabbasum Mohamed Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
|Event Date||Event||Court Location||Offence Type||Offence Date||Committed While||Sentence Imposed|
|15-12-2009||Sentencing||High Court Auckland||Murder||28-12-2007||17 Years, Life Imprisonment||▼|