15 May 2014

Father jailed for injuring newborn

7:56 pm on 15 May 2014

An Auckland man has been sentenced to six and half years jail for seriously injuring his newborn baby.

Rebel Waitohi was sentenced in the High Court in Auckland on Thursday.

He had earlier been found guilty of injuring his four-week-old daughter's throat last February, and squeezing her so hard that two ribs cracked.

In sentencing him, Justice Lang said the laceration at the back of the baby's throat was probably caused by Waitohi jamming his finger down it.

It caused life-threatening bleeding and the baby, who is now being cared for by her maternal grandmother, had a long recovery.

Justice Lang told Waitohi he was at a loss to understand how any father could possibly treat his child in such a way.

He said the sentence included an extra six months in prison to reflect the fact that Waitohi had clearly not learned from several previous sentences for violent offending.