Bay of Plenty Times 9 May 2016
The Sensible Sentencing Trust, “outraged” by the manslaughter charges faced by Moko Rangitoheriri’s killers, are calling for people to protest outside High Courts around the country next month.
The organisation plans to hold protests on June 27, the day Tania Shailer and David Haerewa are to be sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua for killing 3-year-old Moko.
Shailer and Haerewa previously pleaded not guilty to murder, but on the day their trial was due to start they pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and ill-treating a child.
The pair were abusing the toddler in the two months leading up to his death, when he was left in their care.
Moko was kicked, slapped, stomped on, had faeces rubbed in his face and was bitten.
He died in Taupo Hospital in August last year after suffering internal bleeding, septic shock from his leaking bowel and swelling of the brain as a result of his caregivers’ abuse.
Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar said Moko’s death must not be in vain.
“Sensible Sentencing plans to mount protests outside every High Court in the country on June 27, the day [Shailer and Haerewa] are sentenced for the reduced crime of manslaughter in the High Court at Rotorua.”
Mr McVicar said for those not able to make it to the High Court at Rotorua, there would be protests at their local High Court.
“We want to send a clear message to the Government by getting tens of thousands of signatures on a petition calling for an end to a system that not only allowed but facilitated Moko’s heartless and evil killers receiving much less than they deserve.”
Meanwhile a Facebook page, Protest, has been set up in light of Moko’s death, with the aim of getting justice for abused children in New Zealand.
The page has gaining more than 1000 followers in three days with many people expressing their outrage of Moko’s fate.
The page’s creator and moderator Bevan Potter said the manslaughter plea was “outrageous”.
“I want people to know we won’t tolerate this. We are highlighting this issue because enough is enough.”