2 Nov 2012

Mother says she didn't injure toddler

8:52 pm on 2 November 2012

The mother of a toddler has denied allegations under cross-examination that she had anything to do with injuring her son.

Josephine Lawrence's former partner Joel Loffley is on trial at the Auckland High Court accused of killing James Lawrence, known as JJ, at the couple's Orakei home on 14 November last year.

The Crown says the boy suffered blunt force trauma to his stomach, severely damaging his internal organs including his liver and pancreas. Mr Loffley, 29, denies the charge.

At court on Friday, Mr Loffley's lawyer Roger Chambers questioned Ms Lawrence and put to her that Mr Loffley had seen her "backhand" JJ twice because he was misbehaving.

Ms Lawrence vehemently denied the allegation, saying she had only ever tapped her son and would never hit him.

Mr Chambers also asked her about blowing cannabis smoke in JJ's face. Ms Lawrence admitted there were a lot of drugs in the house, including methamphetamine and marijuana, and that she may have blown marijuana smoke around the boy.

Their exchanges became quite terse at times - especially when Mr Chambers claimed she had admitted to her son's death to the accused.

Ms Lawrence replied that Joel Loffley was a liar, but acknowledged she had said she felt she was to blame because she was the boy's mother and should have been looking after him.

The trial resumes on Monday.