Mum thinks JJ accused is guilty, court told

JJ LAWRENCE: The two-year-old died at his home in Auckland in November 2011.
JJ LAWRENCE: The two-year-old died at his home in Auckland in November 2011.

Accused child-murderer Joel Loffley couldn't look his mum in the eye because "she thinks I'm a murderer", a court has heard.

Loffely is on trial for murdering two year-old JJ Lawrence, the son of his partner Josephine Lawrence.

Intercepted phone calls between Loffley and Lawrence in the months after JJ's death were played to the High Court at Auckland yesterday.

Loffley's mental state deteriorated over time as suspicion was cast on him.

He described going "mental" because "all I can tell them is the truth and that's not good enough for them".

"They want concrete f..... proof and I can't give it to them."

Loffley said even his family had questioned him about who killed JJ.

"Can't even look my mum in the eye cos she thinks I'm a murderer... my family's sitting here and grilling me, thinking I'm a murderer."

The pair were heard discussing media coverage of the case including a suggestion that Loffley had been "studying up" on the Kahui case where twin babies were killed and their father Chris Kahui charged.

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 mothers' involvement.

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

Loffley is charged with killing JJ on November 14, 2011, at the Lawrence's Orakei home.

The Crown says while Lawrence was out Loffley struck the boy so hard in the stomach it split his liver and pancreas in two.

Doctors said the injuries looked like they had been caused by a car crash.

In other phone calls played to the court, 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".

When Lawrence told him 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.

When police began investigating the pair in earnest Loffley was heard saying: "They're trying to put us against each other, aye baby."

"We're not murderers babe. I did not murder your son."

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

Loffley said his brother Gabriel, who also lived in the house, had been "running his mouth" and "blaming".

"All the evidence is pointing at me but the facts aren't. That's why they can't pin it on anyone."

At one point he asked Lawrence: "Did you f.... bash that boy babe?"

"No," she replied.

Loffley said, if anything, the death was an accident.

Lawrence stuck by Loffley having over 4,000 conversations with him and writing him scores of letters.

She was heard saying: "There's lots of things I haven't told my lawyer, even all the times you bloody bashed me."

Loffley said: "I was a real c... for my women but I loved that f..... kid."

The trial continues.

JOEL LOFFLEY: The 29-year-old is accused of murdering two-year-old JJ Lawrence.
JOEL LOFFLEY: The 29-year-old is accused of murdering two-year-old JJ Lawrence.

Auckland Now