Kapiti baby murder-accused back in court

  • 21/09/2015
Michael Kereopa (3 News)
Michael Kereopa (3 News)

The 31-year-old accused of murdering a six-month-old girl in her Kapiti Coast home will face a High Court judge for the first time today. 

Michael Kereopa was in a relationship with Gracie McSorley'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. 

"The defendant was the only person in the home with Gracie during this time," police said at the time. 

They said the injuries were so bad they're similar to those sustained in a high-speed car crash. 

There have been more than five child deaths following an assault just this year alone. 

Police say this is yet another sad reminder of the country's unacceptable levels of child abuse. 

Kereopa is expected to enter a plea when he appears at the High Court in Wellington this morning.