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Moko: Killers’ sentence can be and should be increased - SST

Moko: Killers’ sentence can be and should be increased - SST

3rd November 2016

For any semblance of justice for Moko and the thousands of other children abused or murdered in this country his killers sentence must be increased. The future safety and well being of our children is in the hands of the Appeal Court. McVicar

In June 2016, Tania Shailer and her boyfriend David Haerewa received a richly deserved sentence of 17 years with a minimum non parole period of nine years for the supposed “manslaughter” of three year old Moko Rangitoheriri. In a move which provoked much protest, the original charges of murder were substituted for manslaughter, to which the accused pleaded guilty. Today, Moko’s killers’ appeal against the sentence was heard in the Court of Appeal.

“We are told that because the Crown has not cross-appealed, there is no chance of these two having their sentences increased rather than decreased” said Sensible Sentencing founder Garth McVicar.

The killing of Moko was a harrowing, prolonged and agonising attack on an innocent wee boy, carried out over a number of weeks.

“Shailer and Haewera know only too well they they tortured this defenceless child to death. If they have even a modicum of intelligence they must know that they were very lucky to get a sentence which could see them released in nine years, instead of the 17 year minimum they would undoubtedly have got if they had been found guilty of murder, which in our view they most definitely should have been.”

Moko was kicked, thrown, dropped face first on the floor, bitten, stomped on, had faeces rubbed on his face and was denied medical care. He had lacerations and a haemorrhage deep within his abdomen, coupled with a bowel rupture and swelling to the brain from repeated blows to the head.

McVicar said, “It is sickening beyond belief knowing what that poor wee boy suffered. To be able to inflict that on any human, let alone a defenceless child, is evil beyond comprehension. If they had even a shred of decency in them – which clearly they don’t – they would not put Moko’s mother and whanau through the stress and pain of an appeal, but rather keep their horrible heads down and serve their Judge given sentence.”

"The law should be changed, for all appeals against sentence, so that the appellant is always at risk of the Judge saying that far from the sentence being too tough, it was too lenient, and increased accordingly. At present, unless the Crown cross-appeals (which is very rare), the convicted offender embarks on a one-way bet with no risk, usually at the taxpayer's expense."

“Sensible Sentencing is committed to keeping Moko’s memory alive, and trying to ensure that at some point some good comes out of his awful death. In September we presented a petition to parliament with 16,000 signatures seeking changes to sleazy plea bargain deals of the kind which led to Shailer and Haerewa not getting their just desserts. For any semblance of justice for Moko and the thousands of other children abused or murdered in this country his killers sentence must be increased. The future safety and well being of our children is in the hands of the Appeal Court.”



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