24 Aug 2012

Child's father found guilty of manslaughter

11:01 pm on 24 August 2012

An Auckland man has been found guilty of manslaughter, following the violent death of his young daughter in 2010.

Seini Ikamanu suffered severe injuries to her head, shoulder and pelvis when she was two, and died in hospital more than eight months later at the age of three in 2010.

Kefu Ikamanu was found not guilty of her murder in the High Court at Auckland on Friday afternoon, but guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The unanimous decision followed more than nine hours of deliberation by the jurors, seven men and five women.

The judge had told them they needed to reach a verdict of manslaughter if they agreed Ikamanu had thrown Seini against the wall.

The jury also agreed unanimously Ikamanu had stomped on his daughter's pelvis, finding him guilty of grievous bodily harm.

Ikamanu had denied the charges, saying his daughter's injuries arose after he grabbed his daughter by the arm and tried to pull her close, but she accidentally spun out of his grasp and into a wall.

Earlier on Friday the jury indicated it could not reach a unanimous verdict and the judge advised that a majority verdict was acceptable.

Detective Sergeant Steve Brewer, who investigated the case, says he is satisfied with the manslaughter verdict.

Ikamanu's lawyer, Simon Lance, says his family has forgiven him for his crime, and has tried to move on. "They know that he didn't intend to cause his daughter harm."