Opinion: Baby Moko must get justice

Moko Rangitoheriri
Moko Rangitoheriri

Our justice system is seriously on notice with the sentencing of the two people who brutally killed baby Moko taking place on Monday.

Moko Rangitoheriri was tortured and beaten to within an inch of his life and was then left to die by caregivers Tania Shailer and David Haewera. 

Both pleaded guilty to manslaughter after the murder charges were dropped. That horrifies most of us. What is this plea bargain? Why don't we understand it? Surely it's murder?

What they did to three-year-old Moko was sickening and brutal. And they did it together. 

It's likely to be New Zealand's worst case of child abuse. They didn't stop until he died. That's murder isn't it? He couldn't run. He couldn't hide, despite trying to, in the wardrobe.

And that's why I say our justice system is on notice -- it's on trial -- tomorrow. These two killers must get long sentences. Justice must be done. 

But these two are up on manslaughter charges -- effectively meaning Moko's death wasn't deliberate. 

Yes it was. In my opinion it was. They killed a defenceless little boy slowly over about 10 days. It's torture. And neither of them stepped in to stop it or take him to hospital when he was dying in front of these two adults. His injuries were horrific.

Justice must be done tomorrow. Short, throwaway jail sentences won't suffice. The public are demanding justice for Moko. Haewera and Shailer must do serious time.

I sense the public are sickened by the plea bargain that saw this changed to manslaughter. And if that means these two get weak sentences, then most of New Zealand will be asking for a serious please explain into why and how that happened. 

All eyes are on the judge in Rotorua tomorrow. I will be there.