Jury not given full picture in Sahara case

Last updated 13:48 20/02/2013
Kerry Ratana
GUILTY: Kerry Ratana.
SAHARA BAKER-KORO: Found dead in home.

Relevant offers

Hawke's Bay

Former English rugby rose becomes Cranford Hospice chief executive Wellington and Wairarapa bracing for gales and rain Hawke's Bay homelessness 'extremely' concerning Central Hawke's Bay dam scheme 'close' to being financially viable Rural Hawke's Bay community's CCTV initiative helps nab thieves NZX-listed wine company Delegat Group opens office in Shanghai Owners plead guilty to two vicious dog attacks Hastings crew are getting the Movember message through Havelock North Community Christmas lunch needs help French navy ship visits Napier to award veterans

A jury was not given a full picture of a man who crushed his 5-year-old stepdaughter to death, his lawyer has told the Court of Appeal.

Kerry Ratana, 26, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Sahara Jayde Baker-Koro in 2010, but denied sexually violating her.

He was found guilty of the offence at a second trial.

He is appealing the sexual violation conviction and the more than 16-year sentence he got for manslaughter.

Ratana killed Shara while her mother was at work on December 20, 2010.  He crushed her chest until she stopped breathing because he was angry with her.

Sahara's mother Chantally Baker said after she found Sahara's body Ratana said ''I love you. I'm sorry. I raped her.'' 

However, Ratana has denied this and even at sentencing shook his head over the sexual offending.

His lawyer Eric Forster told the Court of Appeal that foreign DNA was found when Sahara was examined and the trial judge had not adequately summed it up to the jury.

Mr Forster said it was a powerful fact that foreign DNA pointed away from Ratana.

He said not everyone who had been in the house had had DNA taken and the possibility of contamination could not be ruled out either.

Mr Forster said the jury should have been directed that someone else could have responsible for the injuries.

''The jury was not given the full picture. A powerful piece of defence was taken away,'' he said.

Crown lawyer Kate Feltham said the judge had considered it was a manslaughter very close to murder. 

Ratana had been solely responsible and it was aggravated by Sahara's young age and the degree of harm done to her.

The Court reserved its decision.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

How many coffees do you have a day?

5 or even more




Anything from 1-5.

Don't touch the stuff.

Vote Result

Related story: Coffee as we know it at risk of dying

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content