Dad guilty of manslaughter

AMY MAAS
Last updated 14:51 24/08/2012
Kefu Ikamanu
POOL PHOTO
GUILTY: Kefu Ikamanu in the dock at the High Court in Auckland.

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A man who killed his daughter three weeks before her third birthday and denied murdering her has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Kefu Ikamanu was found guilty in the High Court at Auckland today on charges of manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm.

The jury found Ikamanu not guilty on a charge of murdering his daughter Seini Ikamanu.

During the trial Crown prosecutor Phil Hamlin told the jury: "Mr Ikamanu was not able to form a close bond with Seini and became resentful, frustrated and angry with what he thought was the spoilt behaviour of his daughter.

"He thought she never smiled at him and this made him angry."

On March 24, 2010, Ikamanu hauled Seini against a wall, the force of the throw caused severe head injuries that required emergency neurosurgery to relieve brain swelling.

Ikamanu then stomped on his daughter, crushing her pelvis and rendering her motionless and unconscious.

Hamlin said doctors found Seini's numerous pelvic fractures would ordinarily be found in crush type injures, if a child had been run over by a car.

"These are unusual injuries requiring force, directed from the front of the child to the back," he said.

"The sort of injuries doctors do see when a child is stomped on."

Just seven months earlier, Seini had been reunited with her family after living with her grandparents in Tonga for most of her life. She was living with her mother, father and younger brother, and was described as a shy girl.

Seini remained alive for eight months in palliative care before she died from pneumonia.

Police arrested Ikamanu on an assault charge two days after his daughter was taken to hospital.

Ikamanu initially told police Seini had collapsed on the floor and gone stiff.

He later told officers he threw her against a wall.

"When questioned about the act, he said no, he hadn't thrown her against the wall, he had pulled his daughter against him, but she pulled the other way and she had fallen into a wall," the Crown said during the trial.

He was remanded in custody until sentencing on October 19.

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