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Another innocent child’s life taken to soon

5th April 2019

Police have launched a homicide investigation into the death of l7 month old Sadie-Leigh Gardner.

Sadie-Leigh was taken to Tauranga hospital on March 27 with critical injuries. She died two days later in Auckland’s Starship hospital from her injuries.

Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) Spokesperson Jessica McVicar said the trust is deeply concerned that nothing has changed as the horrific abuse of children continues to happen “We have lost far too many innocent children to child abuse and murder. Not enough is being done to protect these precious children; they are our future generations.”

In 2016 the SST launched a petition in the wake of the prolonged torture, abuse and murder of little Moko Rangitoheriri.

The nation cried for Moko, and 1000’s signed the petition set up by the SST asking for the Immediate introduction of a system under which a High Court Judge must approve any arrangement under which an originally laid charge alleging murder is replaced by a lesser charge, with the Judge empowered to order that a trial of the defendant(s) on the original charge proceed; and 2. As a matter of urgency, make whatever law changes may be necessary to outlaw the practice of plea bargaining negotiations initiated by Crown Prosecutors.

On the day of the sentencing of Moko’s killers, 1000’s of people round the country marched for justice for 3 year-old Moko.

“Who ever did this to baby Sadie-Leigh deserves to go to prison for life; no plea bargains, no discounts and no concurrent sentencing. Our poor defenceless children are being murdered and this must stop!” said Jess

This month is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and Jess said New Zealand must stand together and speak up against child abuse!


“We know our country can join together to stand against this heart-breaking abuse of our children! We know we can join together in the wake of horrific crimes and we know urgent changes can be made to legislation, so let’s join together for the protection of our children.”

For the year 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018 there were 89,650 reports of concern to Oranga Tamariki and of those reports 41,250 assessments and investigations were carried out.
Out of those investigations 6,250 children and young people were in the custody of Oranga Tamariki for care and protection reasons.

Jess said this is of ongoing concern “Care and protection of our children is being overlooked, it is not a problem that will just simply go away. Innocent children are being harmed because we do not have the resources in place to protect them. We ask the government to urgently look into providing improved resources for Child Protection.”



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