JJ's mother denies saying 'I did it'
The mother of murdered toddler JJ Lawrence told her partner she might get "five or six years because it was an accident" in relation to her son's death.
Josephine Lawrence denied under cross-examination that she had hurt her son but admitted she had told murder accused Joel Loffley that she'd had a conversation with her family about the fact she "might get five or six years because it was an accident".
Defence counsel Roger Chambers put it to her that, in bed together after JJ's tangi, she had confessed to Loffley that: "I did it."
Lawrence denied the conversation took place.
"He's lying, he's making it up, he's crazy," she said.
Chambers put it to her that she had talked about "a guilty plea and hurry up and get it over with".
Lawrence said what she meant was that she felt guilty because she was JJ's mother and she should have been looking after him the morning he died.
She said the conversation centred on Loffley's involvement rather than hers.
"I asked him what happened to JJ. I told him I thought he did it. He asked me do you think I did it. I said yes."
Loffley is charged with murdering two-year-old JJ on November 14, 2011, at Lawrence's Orakei home, by hitting him so hard in the stomach it ruptured his internal organs.
Earlier in cross-examination today, Lawrence admitted she was an alcoholic who smoked P and cannabis around her son.
She also admitted she did not take the boy to a doctor for several days after he broke his arm.
Lawrence yesterday gave damning testimony of Loffley forcing her son to smoke marijuana.
Under cross-examination today, she was painted in a similarly negative light.
Lawrence admitted getting "wasted" a lot and sometimes blowing cannabis smoke in JJ's face herself.
"I probably used to blow some in his face but he used to give him full on spots," she said of Loffley.
Lawrence said she took drugs and drank a lot but all the drugs came from Loffley's friends and she usually had a babysitter.
She sold cannabis tinnies to her friends but insisted that it was Loffley's "shop".
Chambers put it to her that Loffley had offered to call an ambulance after JJ suffered a broken arm for a second time.
She said she did not remember but she admitted she waited several days before taking JJ to hospital because she was drunk and "I was worried about JJ getting taken from me".
Lawrence said she was testifying behind a screen that prevented her from seeing Loffley because she did not want to be intimidated by the accused.
However, Chambers put it to her that she had had a lot of contact with Loffley since he was charged, including writing him hundreds of letters and a Valentine's Day card, giving him money every week and providing him with shoes and a watch.
"I supported him because he said he didn't do anything and I believed him."
When Loffley's violence towards her was questioned, particularly why she did not leave him or get help after he allegedly strangled her, she said: "I loved him at the time. I was dumb. Love makes you do crazy things."
The trial continues.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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