Murdered boy endured final weeks of torture

NZ Herald May 16, 2009

The full story behind the sickening abuse and murder of a 7-year-old boy has been revealed for the first time in court documents. One expert has called the killing of Duwayne Pailegutu by his stepfather, Johnny Pukerua Joachim, “systematic torture” comparable to that suffered by Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie. For the seven days before Duwayne Pailegutu died, he was kept inside his mother and stepfather’s small flat in Nelson – so no one could see he had been beaten so badly he was paralysed, incontinent, and slowly suffocating on his own blood.

…Duwayne, whose family members in Mangere say was a happy and energetic child before he moved to Nelson with his mother and stepfather in December 2007, was hit, kicked, thrown at walls and struck repeatedly on the soles of his feet with a cricket wicket by Joachim, 37, in what was to be the most violent assault of many he suffered, one week before he died. Duwayne’s mother Mary Joachim, 28, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court on Thursday to three years in prison for failing to provide her son with the necessaries of life for watching the assaults and not getting medical attention. She is appealing against her sentence. Johnny Joachim is serving an 18-year, non-parole sentence after admitting Duwayne’s murder.