A 31-year-old man has denied murdering his partner's six-month-old girl in her Kapiti Coast home.
Michael Kereopa made a brief appearance in the Wellington High Court this morning over the death of Gracie McSorley at her Raumati Beach home in July.
He was remanded in custody with his next appearance in court scheduled for November.
Kereopa was in a relationship with Gracie's mother when he allegedly bashed the little girl to death two months ago.
He was originally charged with assault, but that was upgraded to murder earlier this month.
Expert medical advice shows the child suffered severe head injuries which is inconsistent with Kereopa's claims of an accidental fall.
Police compared her injuries to those sustained in a high-speed car crash.
There have been more than five child deaths following assaults just this year alone.