JJ's stepdad accused of researching Kahuis

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 11:49 08/11/2012
JJ Lawrence
JJ LAWRENCE: The two-year-old died at his home in Auckland in November 2011.
Joel Loffley
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JOEL LOFFLEY: The 29-year-old is accused of murdering two-year-old JJ Lawrence.

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Accused child murderer Joel Loffley said people thought he had been "studying up on the Kahui case", intercepted phone calls show.

Loffley, who is accused of murdering two-year-old JJ Lawrence, was recorded in conversation with JJ's mother Josephine Lawrence after the child's death.

A number of the calls were played at Loffley's High Court trial this morning including one in which he said he had been accused of researching the Kahui case where two children were killed and police charged their father Chris Kahui. 

There have been a number of parallels between the cases - a father left alone with the children who died soon after, drug using families, indications of prior abuse, and defences that have sought to cast aspersions on the mother's involvement.

Chris Kahui was found not guilty but a coroner later made findings that strongly pointed the finger at him.

Loffley is charged with murdering JJ on November 14 last year at the Lawrence's Orakei home, by hitting him so hard in the stomach it ruptured his internal organs.

In other phone calls, Lawrence and Loffley discussed the death and Loffley insisted JJ fell off a bed and his legs went over his head when he hit the ground.

Loffley suggested the boy died of brain damage or "it might be meningitis or something".

"I told them everything, Babe, I didn't leave anything out."

Lawrence said: "They are trying to say it doesn't all add up."

When Lawrence said doctors determined it was internal bleeding in the abdomen, Loffley appeared surprised.

He later suggested it may have been from CPR efforts pressing too hard on JJ's stomach.

The trial continues.

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