Caregiver in court over burnt child
A man facing criminal charges after he allegedly took an injured child from Middlemore Hospital burns unit will remain in jail for at least another two weeks.
Andrew Oti Heta appeared in the Manukau District court before Judge Josephine Bouchier on charges of removing the three-year-old boy from a place of care and putting him at risk of infection.
His application for bail was declined on September 14 and Judge Bouchier yesterday remanded him in custody until a plea enquiry hearing on October 17.
Heta is listed as the caregiver of the child, but it is unknown if he is the boy's father.
It is alleged he removed the toddler from Middlemore on September 9 in an act that was a "major departure from the standard of care to be expected of a reasonable person".
The child was undergoing treatment after he sustained burns in a Waikato house fire on August 22. It is not clear how severe his injuries were.
After the incident hospital spokeswoman Lauren Young said hospital staff were working with the family and "involved agencies" to achieve the best outcome for the child.
At the time of the fire, the toddler and his one-year-old sibling were living at the house with his aunt, Wai Tangi Matenga, who died in the fire.
Police initially treated Matenga's death as a homicide after it was suspected Mongrel Mob gang members may have been involved in the fire. However, an investigation found the fire was caused by an electrical fault.
Child, Youth and Family confirmed they had known of the child and his family since the house fire.
"He is recovering well and remains in Child, Youth and Family care placed with a member of the wider family," northern regional director Sharon Thom said at the time.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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