29 Oct 2008

Nelson man jailed 18 years for murdering stepson

9:56 pm on 29 October 2008

A Nelson man has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years for the murder of his stepson.

Duwayne Toetu Pailegut was beaten and partly paralysed in June 2007, but it was another eight days before the seven-year-old died. He was found unconscious at his home in Stoke on 2 July.

Johnny Pukerua Joachim, 37, was sentenced on Wednesday at the High Court in Nelson. He previously pleaded guilty on 2 September.

Justice Dobson said Joachim severely beat the boy with his fists and a cricket stump after finding he had left his jersey at school.

The court was told the boy was left partly paralysed by the initial attack and died with 75 external injuries.

Joachim refused to allow medical assistance and tried to shock the boy back to consciousness with cold showers and applying pressure to his chest to make him vomit.

Mary Joachim, 28, has been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life for her son. She will appear at a depositions hearing in November.

Nayland School says the boy's absence raised no suspicions at the time. Principal Janice Gulbransen says the school had not been worried as it believed the family was holidaying in Auckland.