29 Oct 2012

Trial told of injuries that killed toddler

9:53 pm on 29 October 2012

A court been told of graphic details of injuries that killed a toddler in Auckland.

Joel Loffley is accused of killing James Lawrence, known as JJ, at his home in the suburb of Orakei in November last year.

Crown prosecutor Nick Webby said in his opening statement on Monday that the two-year-old suffered blunt force trauma to his stomach, severely damaging his internal organs.

The court was told the boy was hit so hard, his pancreas and liver were split in half.

Mr Webby said while JJ Lawrence was in the care of Mr Loffley, he had suffered two broken arms - in June and September last year.

The court was told that the 29-year-old partner of the boy's mother often played rough with him and visitors said it was clear that the boy was scared of Mr Loffley.

Mr Webby said the accused was also violent towards the mother.

In a brief opening statement, defence lawyer Roger Chambers told the court that his client did not injure the child.

"He says that it was not him in that household that hurt JJ that morning. He is acutely aware of a massive amount of police investigative material that frankly focuses on him."

A jury of seven men and five women has been selected for the trial at the Auckland High Court, which is set down for three weeks.