Trial paints picture of dysfunctional parents

The Dominion Post 23 May 2008

There were no fancy children’s toys in their nursery – just a sofa, heater to keep the room warm and a cot Chris and Cru Kahui shared with simple paper name tags hanging above their heads. It was the twins’ sanctuary. Outside their room regular drug and alcohol-fuelled parties raged, funded by the $2000 benefits the twins’ parents and extended family were bringing in. Later, their mother, Macsyna King, would confess to using the methamphetamine drug Pduring this time.

Amid this chaos someone entered the twins’ sanctuary in their Mangere home on June 12, 2006, and brutalised them so severely no medical intervention could save them. The twins had been battered almost from the time they were discharged from Middlemore’s neo-natal unit. When baby Cru stopped breathing on that night, his mother Macsyna was nowhere to be seen. As his lips turned blue and his eyes rolled backwards, his father Chris turned to his dad Banjo, sister Mona and her partner Stuart for their collective medical knowledge. They declared him “OK”. No ambulance was called, no rushing him to the accident and emergency department, no call to a 24-hour helpline for advice.

Instead, Chris sent his father to look for Macsyna, who had stormed out of the house earlier in the day demanding time out.When Banjo reached her sister Emily King’s home he was told the two woman had gone out drinking. When Macsyna eventually arrived back at Emily’s house, she crashed on the couch and fell into such a deep sleep that when her sister tried to wake her a short time later to tell her one of her babies stopped breathing, Macsyna could not be roused. When told again the following morning, Macsyna offered to drive Emily to work and mind her child for the day. Eventually she went home and ripped into Chris, demanding to know “what the hell happened”.

Two hours later they strapped the babies into their car seats and drove to McDonald’s for breakfast before going to the doctor. Their GP ordered them to take the babies to hospital immediately but the parents bundled their babies back into their car then went shopping, stopping at a supermarket for baby supplies. They then returned home to fetch the babies’ Plunket books, but Chris stormed off down the road to walk off his rage.

Finally, 17 hours after Cru stopped breathing, Macsyna arrived at the hospital. Struggling to carry first one, then the other baby into the emergency department alone, she calmly waited in line to be seen. When she phoned Chris to tell him the twins were critical and would probably die, he told her “whatever” and he continued playing on his PlayStation. The police were called and a lengthy investigation followed.

Early on they decided Macsyna could not have inflicted the injuries because she has an alibi: she was with her sister all night. That left Chris as their prime suspect. But during the trial it was revealed for the first time that Emily received a call in Mangere at 7.54pm on June 12, an hour before Cru stopped breathing and at a time both women were supposed to have been visiting a friend in West Auckland. This, the defence said, was when Macsyna returned to the house while Chris was dropping Mona at hospital. In a fit of rage over his absence she “does something terrible to her twins”.