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Police Acknowledge Sentencing Of 8-month-old's Murderer

Police acknowledge last month's sentencing for the man responsible for murdering baby Falute Vaila nearly two years ago.

Eight-month-old Falute died after she was taken to an Auckland medical centre with injuries on 23 May 2022.

On 30 April 2024, Vaila Sopo – her father – was sentenced to a minimum period of imprisonment of 17 years for murder at the Auckland High Court.

He was also sentenced for a charge of assault child.

Suppression orders have lifted this afternoon.

“Any investigation into the death of a child in suspicious circumstances is challenging and confronting,” Detective Inspector Warrick Adkin, of Counties Manukau CIB, says.

“I would like to acknowledge the Operation Corman investigation team who worked professionally to piece together the treatment that Falute suffered.”

Ultimately the investigation team put 26-year-old Sopo before the Court, which has resulted in him being successfully convicted.

Detective Inspector Adkin says no conviction will bring back an innocent life lost, but the man responsible has been held to account.

“This is yet another tragic reminder to us all about being aware of the signs a child is suffering from abuse,” he says.

“We all have a responsibility to look out for our youngest and most vulnerable members of society. It is important children who are being abused do not become invisible and those close to them become their voice by reporting the abuse”.

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