Southland teen babysitter Daniel Cameron sentenced for murder of 9yo boy

A 16-year-old Southland teen babysitter who murdered a nine-year-old boy has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 11 years.

Handing down the sentence in the Invercargill High Court on Monday, Justice Rachel Dunningham said Daniel Cameron committed an aggravated crime by murdering Hunter MacIntosh.

"I must sentence you to life imprisonment unless it would be manifestly unjust," she said.

Summing up the facts of the case, Justice Dunningham noted Cameron had "mildly autistic personality traits" and admitted "a tendency to get angry at the stupidest things".

"[You] said Hunter was being really annoying... [and] wouldn't stop using an airhorn-like device on the night in question."

Cameron, who was 15 when the killing occurred, had been paid to babysit the child in Otautau last year.

But according to the summary of facts, he left the house and was spotted walking through town around 8pm.

At 8:30pm he sent a Snapchat to three friends asking "what would you do if I killed someone".

Cameron followed this up with a Facebook message to another friend which said: "What would you think of me if I killed someone" and then a second message saying, "straightforward answer".

When the victim's mother returned home around 10:30pm she found her child dead with a 25cm knife embedded in his stomach.

The post-mortem showed he had received three large knife wounds to his chest and torso and had marks on his neck consistent with asphyxia.

The results from the autopsy suggested the boy had been killed within 90 minutes of being in the babysitter's care.

Cameron was arrested at his home after midnight. He pleaded guilty in March.

Daniel Cameron in court for his sentencing.
Daniel Cameron in court for his sentencing. Photo credit: Newshub

Speaking in court, the victim's mother gave a harrowing victim impact statement, saying the pain never ends.

"The feelings of loss are so strong that I wonder how I can keep living," she said.

"I have no regrets except leaving him with Daniel that evening… I will never forgive myself and I have to live with that forever."

And the boy's aunt said her nephew's murder "ripped apart" her world.

"I was in shock and disbelief how someone could be so hurtful… to take someone away from this world."