Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guilty Verdicts in the Nia Glassie Trial

Brothers Wiremu (19) and Michael (22) Curtis were found guilty today
in Rotorua High Court for the brutal murder, torture and abuse of little 4 year old Nia Glassie.

The child's mother Lisa Kuka, 35, was found guilty on two manslaughter charges for failing to protect her daughter and for not seeking medical assistance for her.

Two other people - Michael Pearson, 20, and Michael Curtis' partner Oriwa Kemp, 18, were found not guilty of manslaughter in relation to the death but guilty on other charges.

All are now in custody awaiting sentencing.

Public sentiment was outraged as details emerged during the trial of of the horrific abuse Nia suffered at the hands of the accused. Hopes are high that suitably harsh sentences will be given, not only as a suitable punishment but also as a deterrent.

Alarmingly High rate of Child Death from Maltreatment in NZ

A 2003 UNICEF report showed that New Zealand has one of the highest rates of child death from maltreatment (physical abuse and neglect) among rich OECD countries.

It ranked 25th on a league table of 27 countries with 1.2 deaths per 100,000 children

"The abuse suffered by Rotorua three-year-old Nia Glassie during her short but tortured life included:
* Kicked in the face, causing her nose to bleed;
* Hit, slapped, punched and jumped on;
* Objects such as shoes thrown at her;
* Verbal insults, for example continually being told she was ugly;
* Forced into a television cabinet drawer;
* Dragged through the sandpit half-naked;
* Shoved into piles of rubbish;
* Made to bathe in cold water in mid-winter;
* Folded into a sofa and sat on;
* Flung against the wall;
* Held high in the air and dropped to the floor;
* Used for adult wrestling moves copied from a Playstation game;
* Whirled rapidly on a rotary clothesline until flung off;
* Put into a tumble dryer and spun on high temperature;
* Had her head and feet dangled into the fireplace when the fire was lit;
Source: NZ Herald, 28 Sept 2008

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