Harley Mac Wharewera
NZ Herald story here and also here .
Sentence detailed here
From NZ Herald story October 13th 2005
A Whakatane toddler was allegedly forced to eat dog faeces and subjected to assaults in a room dubbed "the cell" during almost two months of abuse in August and September. The boy, aged 2 years and 8 months, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Whakatane Hospital on September 21 suffering serious head injuries. He has since been discharged. Two unemployed men appeared in the Whakatane District Court yesterday. Harley Mac Wharewera, 19, and Kane Jeremy Tawa, 23, faced joint charges of wilfully ill-treating a child, which carries a maximum jail term of five years, and assaulting a child, which carries a penalty of two years.
Wharewera faced additional charges of injuring with intent and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He pleaded not guilty to all four charges and Judge Thomas Ingram remanded him in custody until a pre-trial hearing on October 26. Tawa pleaded guilty to the two charges he faced and was remanded in custody for sentencing on November 9. The charges related to the period from August 1 to September 21. The police summary of facts outlining the case against Tawa said the boy was subjected to frequent physical abuse and ill-treatment while Tawa and Wharewera were boarding at a house with him and his mother. The Herald has chosen not to identify the boy or his mother.
Both Tawa and Wharewera were said to be aligned with the Manga Kahu chapter of the Black Power gang. The court heard that they assaulted the boy using a process they referred to as giving him a "lag". The abuse allegedly took place in a bedroom they called "the cell" or "jail", and caused the boy to become terrified of the men. It was said they would pick the toddler up, throw him over their shoulders, and "body slam" him on to a mattress. On one occasion, Wharewera allegedly jumped off a window sill and landed with the full force of his weight on the boy. Tawa held him so he could not move. Lags were also said to include regular punching and kicking of the boy. Once, when he accidentally knocked a cup of sugar on to the floor, Wharewera allegedly punched him in the head.
A frequent visitor to the house said that just about every day the men would take the toddler into the bedroom and give him a lag. "He would be screaming, crying and calling out for his mother while this happened," the court heard. The toddler's 23-year-old mother has denied a charge of permitting the wilful ill-treatment of a child. It was also alleged that Wharewera forced the boy to eat dog faeces. He was said to have locked the boy in a small cupboard and threatened him with assault if he did not eat the faeces. The boy complied. "The defendant Tawa was present and after this gave [the boy] another lag, with the defendant Wharewera hitting him hard four or five times on the head with an open hand and while the defendant Tawa held him," the police summary said.
Tawa was also present when Wharewera allegedly forced the boy to eat faeces dipped in tomato sauce during a meal of fish and chips. The boy vomited. Tawa admitted putting his own faeces on a piece of paper and smearing it round the bed where the boy and his mother slept. Living conditions at the house were described as "utterly filthy, unhygienic and in a state of squalor". "Used disposable nappies lay around the house amongst wet clothing and bedding, empty beer bottles, instruments for smoking cannabis and various rubbish. There was no edible food in the house." Police officers and social workers who went to the house were said to be horrified by the conditions. When spoken to by police, Tawa admitted being involved in giving the boy lags, which he said were initially playfighting and wrestling. The lags became punishment for when the boy was "naughty", and resulted in him crying. Tawa's explanation for his actions was that he had been influenced by Wharewera
Date of Birth
Serious assault and physical abuse of a two year old Whakatane boy over two months from August 2004
Sentenced to 10 years with a 5 year 6 month non-parole period in November 2005
Eligible for release March 2011
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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