Baby assault accused upset in court

Last updated 15:30 17/06/2014

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Supporters of a man accused of assault on a baby who later died called out in support as he appeared in court today. 

The 33-year-old man, charged with the assault of a 8-month-old baby, was remanded to police custody this afternoon.

The man, who has interim name suppression, was arrested on Sunday after the boy was taken to Waikato Hospital with critical injuries on Sunday morning.

The baby died of his injuries in Auckland's Starship Hospital last night.

The man made a second appearance in the Hamilton District Court this afternoon where, through his lawyer Charles Bean, he made an application for bail.

The application was further remanded by Community Magistrate Ngaire Mascelle until Thursday.

Several family members and friends of the man were in court and shouted out messages of support, such as: "Love you, bro" as he was led away.

The accused man was visibly upset during his appearance. 

The 8-month-old was found with life-threatening injuries at a house in Hamilton at 11.35am on Sunday.

He was taken to Waikato Hospital before being transferred to Auckland.

The man first appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday charged with assaulting a child.

Confirming the death this morning, acting Waikato district crime manager Detective Inspector Karl Thornton, said police's thoughts and condolences were with the family.

"We have a substantial number of inquiries to complete before we can establish exactly what has occurred," he said.

Police said they were continuing a scene examination today at the baby's home and were "speaking to a number of people in relation to what happened" prior to the baby being admitted to Waikato Hospital.

An autopsy was conducted today in Auckland. Thornton said forensic examinations needed to be concluded before a decision could be made on whether further charges would be laid.

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