15 Dec 2014

Man who injured baby loses appeal

6:33 pm on 15 December 2014

A man jailed for six-and-a-half years for jamming his finger down the throat of a four-week-old baby girl has had his appeal thrown out.

Rebel Waitohi was sentenced in the High Court in Auckland in May this year and took his case to the Court of Appeal.

His lawyer claimed that the High Court's sentence was out of proportion to the gravity of the offending and the extra six months for previous convictions was too much.

The Court of Appeal accepted that the increase for Waitohi's criminal history was stern, but found it was not out of all proportion to the offending, which also included leaving the girl with fractured ribs.

The court was told how the baby was hospitalised for three weeks. The injury to her throat prevented her from being able to suck and swallow properly and she had to be fed through a tube for two months after getting out of hospital.