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Excerpt from Southland Times story 22nd June
The injuries inflicted on 2-week-old Invercargill baby Ihaka Wairau represented the worst case of child abuse he had dealt with, the officer in charge of the investigation said yesterday.
Raniera Wairau, 22, inmate, was sentenced in the Invercargill District Court on Tuesday to four years' prison on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard for safety following the physical abuse of his son in June last year. Wairau was charged after it was discovered he had twisted his then 2-week-old son Ihaka's legs and left arm so forcefully he broke them following an argument with his partner and mother of the child on June 8.
Scans taken at Southland Hospital showed the infant had also suffered four fractured ribs. The infant "screamed when he was moved", the Crown's sentencing memorandum says. The injuries could have been life-threatening but the infant had made a full recovery. Officer in charge of the investigation Detective Constable Scott McKenzie, of the Invercargill CIB child abuse team, said yesterday the injuries suffered by baby Ihaka were "horrific".
"From my personal knowledge and experience it certainly was a horrific case in relation to a 14-day-old baby," he said. "It's certainly the worst I've dealt with in my career in the CIB." Detective Steve Dalton, who is in charge of the child abuse team, agreed. "It's definitely a very, very serious incident," he said."It's not normal to deal with injuries that serious."
Police and welfare agencies remained tight-lipped as to the whereabouts of Ihaka yesterday, however a Child Youth and Family (CYF) spokeswoman said he was in the custody of "approved caregivers". In terms of their involvement with the case CYF was not "in the habit of commenting on their involvement with a family", she said. The Southland Times understands he is in the care of his mother, who also has another child.
Date of Birth
Broke his two year old baby's legs by twisting them until they fractured in June 2005 in Invercargill
Also fractured four of the baby's ribs
Sentenced to just 4 years in July 2006
Parole eligibility date October 2008
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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