Kahui twins' grandfather lied to police

  • Breaking
  • 04/11/2010

By Emma Brannam at Auckland District Court

A Coronial Inquest into the deaths of the Kahui twins in 2006 heard more from the babies' grandfather at Auckland District Court today.

William Kahui has so far been unable to give a reasonable explanation as to why he made a 50km round trip to find the twin’s mother Macsyna on the night one of the twins stopped breathing, instead of just going four kilometres down the road to the hospital where he was due to take his daughter later that evening to visit his sick wife.

In answer to cross-examination from police lawyer Simon Mount, Mr Kahui agreed that he and Chris were furious that Ms King was not at home to look after the children and decided to look for her at the home of her sister Emily.

He also said he lied to police when he said he didn't know who lived at the house they were travelling to.

Mr Kahui also admitted he didn't tell police about the incident where Cru stopped breathing because he did not want to incriminate his son over this incident.

Under further cross-examination from Chris Morris, the lawyer assisting the coroner, Mr Kahui said there was no discussion among the family whether anyone should lie to police.

He later told Mr Morris he wasn't sure why he lied to police.

But that’s not all Coroner Garry Evans has had to think about this week. He has also heard lots of evidence from the various government agencies involved. Much discussion has taken place as to how cases like this can be prevented in the future.

The Families Commission spoke of the need to be more focus on early intervention in cases of child abuse.

Child, Youth and Family said it would "almost certainly" have got involved with the Kahui family had it known of the hostile environment the premature twins were living in. It would at least have conducted ongoing monitoring of the Kahuis had they been informed of the family's history of violence. Police had previously dealt with the Kahui family because of domestic violence between Chris Kahui's father and mother.

The Children's Commissioner said the most important change that could be made to strengthening child protection services would be to increase the engagement of the health sector.

This would mean more involvement by maternal and infant health services, PHOs, clinicians and other health services with children at risk of child abuse.

Other witnesses included a Middlemore Hospital whanau support worker who broke down in tears as she talked about how she'd seen one of the babies being handled roughly by Macsyna King. She made a note of it but did not take the matter any further. She has since stopped working with children as she felt partly responsible for twins' deaths.

This week the Coroner gave some thought to whether he'd make a recommendation to the Government that health professionals become legally obliged to report any evidence of child abuse. At the moment only one percent of cases are reported by GPs.

Earlier today, he also heard a legal argument in relation to the appearance of a witness who had given evidence in the High Court trial which acquitted Chris Kahui of the twins' murder.

The evidence of the witness, whose name and details have suppressed, was adjourned to a later date.

3 News / NZPA




source: newshub archive