14 Apr 2015

Hamilton man jailed 15 years for killing son

5:18 pm on 14 April 2015

A Hamilton man has been jailed for life with a non-parole period of 15 years for murdering his baby son.

Charlie Lackner, 33, was sentenced at the High Court in Hamilton this morning.

Eight-month-old Cassius Takiari died a day after receiving head injuries at his Hamilton East home in June last year.

Lackner, a forestry worker, was originally charged with assault, but this was upgraded to murder after a post mortem.

The court heard that the boy suffered swelling and bleeding in his brain, bruising to his forehead, detached retinas and fractures to his vertebrae.

Justice Venning said the aggravating features of the case included the level of violence used and the ill-treatment of a vulnerable child.

"Overall I accept the probation officer's assessment that you have poor parenting skills and an inability to control your temper, both of which make you a risk to children,"

Justice Venning says there was far too much violence inflicted on young people in this country by those supposed to be looking after them.

The boy's mother said she wanted to take her own life when her son died.

Liza Tauira gave an emotional victim impact statement in court, while her former partner sobbed.

"It is almost impossible to describe the pain and anguish I have endured since the death of my beautiful boy.

"When I knew he had passed my world was turned tragically upside down.

She said she wanted to take her own life, but knew she couldn't because of her other children.