Jury retires to make decision on Christchurch toddler murder trial

  • 30/03/2017

The jury in the trial of Troy Taylor, who is accused of murdering toddler Ihaka Stokes, has retired to consider their decision. 

Ihaka was 14-months old when he died after suffering 59 injures in the days leading up to his death on July 3, 2015.

Taylor pleaded not guilty to assaulting Ihaka on July 2, 2015 and not guilty to the toddler's murder. Throughout his trial in the High Court at Christchurch he has continued to plead his innocence. 

Ihaka's mother, Mikala, was the only other person who was in the house that night, and the defence argues it was she who inflicted the fatal blows.

Taylor says he came home to find Ihaka struggling to breathe and thought Mikala was responsible, but said he was prepared to take the blame for her.

"I was going to go to jail for her, I would have gone to prison for her if she came to me and said I did this. I love her," he said.

He also said he lied about hearing a bang coming from Ihaka's room the night the toddler died.

"I'm telling the truth for Ihaka and at the end of this I can get up and say that at least I told the truth."

Justice Mander has told the jury they must be sure beyond reasonable doubt it was Taylor who inflicted the fatal injuries, knowing it could cause death.