Toddler Moko's killers head back to court

  • 03/11/2016
 Moko Rangitoheriri (file)
Moko Rangitoheriri (file)

The killers of Taupo toddler Moko Rangitoheriri are returning to court today to appeal their 17-year jail sentence - the highest sentence imposed in New Zealand for the manslaughter of a child.

Their appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeal on Thursday.

Tania Shailer, 26, and her boyfriend David Haerewa, 43, abused and neglected the three-year-old for two months before his death in August last year. 

They were supposed to be looking after him while their mother Nicola Dally-Paki was at Starship Hospital caring for one of her other children.

Haerewa admitted to police that he'd slapped, kicked and stomped on Moko, and confessed he would regularly lock the toddler in a bathroom on his own for hours at a time.

A summary of facts also revealed that Shailer, who was an early childcare teacher, stomped on Moko's stomach and abdomen - injuries believed to have been the main contributors to his death.

Haerewa and Shailer's defence lawyers entered a plea bargain which resulted in their murder charges being downgraded to manslaughter.

The case prompted protest marches around the country.

NZN / Newshub.