Mother and partner imprisoned for failing to seek medical help for dying son

A mother and her partner have been sent to prison for failing to seek medical help for her dying son.

Four-year-old Ashton Cresswell, who had a rare disease known as "bubble boy syndrome", died in 2017, from injuries which medical experts compared to those of a car crash victim.

Newshub was not allowed to film Alesha Cresswell and Peter Otuszewski in the Palmerston North High Court on Friday, but the pair sat in the dock as Justice Christine Grice told them how they could've saved Ashton's life.

He died in his Pahiatua home in April 2017 suffering injuries including a brain injury and a ruptured bowel.

Neither Cresswell nor Otuszewski were charged with causing the injuries, as police can't prove how they happened. 

But they did plead guilty to neglect, for not getting him medical attention. 

There had been between 16 to 18 hours between brain injury and death.

He had been vomiting that week which his mother thought was from a stomach bug.

Ashton suffered from an immunodeficiency condition called "bubble boy syndrome", and had received chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant as a baby, which Justice Grice said was even more reason to seek medical help.

"He had been a sickly child, but that almost makes it worse," Justice Grice said. "You should have been looking out for him."

Cresswell was sentenced to three years and eleven months in prison, and Otuszewski to just over four years.