19 Feb 2011

Manslaughter verdict in child's killing

12:30 pm on 19 February 2011

The man accused of killing Palmerston North preschooler Cash McKinnon has been found guilty of her manslaughter.

In August 2009, the three-year-old was found with critical injuries at a house in Hulme St. She later died in hospital and Sean Donnelly, 23, was charged with murdering her.

During the two-week trial the High Court at Palmerston North was told the child had 80 injuries to her body, as well as some brain injuries.

The Crown alleged Donnelly inflicted the injuries on her after she admitted throwing a toilet roll down the toilet.

The jury returned its verdict shortly before 4pm on Friday, finding Donnelly not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. He will be sentenced on 25 March in Palmerston North.

Donnelly's lawyer Lorraine Smith told Checkpoint her client has been in a state of depression and shock since the death and has been hit hard by the verdict.