26 Nov 2020

Crimes NZ: The 1991 killing of 2-year-old Delcelia Witika

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 2:39 pm on 26 November 2020

A warning: This story contains graphic details of the abuse of a very young child and will not be suitable for younger listeners.

Delcelia Witika would be 32 today had she not died in 1991 in what the judge called one of the most disturbing cases of child abuse to come before the High Court.

She was just two when she was hit, burned and left alone to die as a result of peritonitis, caused by blows to her stomach which burst her appendix. Her mother, Tania Witika and stepfather Eddie Smith were sentenced to 16-year jail terms for her manslaughter. 

Former Herald journalist, David McLoughlin, recalls the horror of covering the case.

If this story brings up any issues help is available:

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Lifeline 0800 543 543 or free text 4357

Shakti Crisis Line 0800 742 633 - for migrant or refugee women living with family violence

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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