Dead toddler JJ referred to as 'it'

21:06, Oct 30 2012
JJ Lawrence
JJ LAWRENCE: The two-year-old died at his home in Auckland in November 2011.

Murder accused Joel Loffley referred to his dead toddler stepson as "it" and had "no emotional response" when describing the accident he said claimed the boy's life, a police officer has told the court.

Loffley, 29, is on trial in the High Court at Auckland charged with murdering two-year-old JJ Lawrence, the son of his partner Josephine Lawrence, in November 2011.

The Crown alleges Loffley killed JJ at their Orakei home by administering a blow to his stomach so forceful it split his liver and pancreas in two.

Sergeant Kuhrt Wieneke told the court he spoke to Loffley the day of the death.

He said Loffley volunteered that he had been making the bed and while he was "fluffing the sheets" JJ, who was on the bed, fell off.

Loffley said JJ hit a wall - he told another officer the boy "face-planted" - and his legs had gone over his back.

Wieneke said Loffley referred to the boy as "it" and had "no emotional response" as he recounted the story just hours after JJ's death.

Ambulance officer Kirsty Roberts also commented on Loffley's calmness saying after CPR efforts had failed, a man later identified as Loffley, inquired of her: "Oh, so is he dead now?"

Roberts said she was "taken a-back" by the "straight forward" way it was asked.

The Crown says JJ suffered two broken arms while in the care of Loffley in the months leading up to his death.

The boy also had cannabis in his system, a post-mortem found.

A police officer testified yesterday to finding canisters for concealing drugs and pipes and other drug paraphernalia in various places around the house.

The Crown case is that Loffley and JJ's mother Josephine Lawrence argued the morning of the death.

As Lawrence went to leave the house, Loffley told her: "Leave that boy with me. That boy's mine today."

While she was out, Loffley assaulted the boy, the Crown says.

Defence lawyer Roger Chambers said Loffley's case was that he had not hit or otherwise assaulted JJ.

Chambers said it was "not him in that household" who had hurt the boy
The trial before Justice Patrick Keane and a jury of seven men and five women is expected to last three weeks.


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