Police refuse comment on baby rumour

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 09:46 04/09/2013
Invercargill baby
ROBYN EDIE/ Fairfax NZ

EVIDENCE: Items of interest are circled by police officers at the house where a baby was injured in a ‘‘violent attack’’ on Monday morning.

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Police this morning refused to comment on reports that the Invercargill baby rushed to hospital early on Monday morning with life-threatening injuries had her throat slashed.

The three-week-old, who remains in a critical condition this morning, is understood to have suffered the injuries from a cut to the throat.

Inspector Olaf Jensen, of Invercargill, said he was unable to comment on the nature of the injuries and would not confirm if that had been the cause of them.

"We won't be making any comment there."

The parents of Noklair Milton were at their Princes St, Invercargill, home at the time of the attack and police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

Noklair has spent the past two nights in the Starship Children's Hospital paediatric intensive care unit. A hospital spokesperson would not be drawn on whether she was stable, repeating "she's critical".

A police officer had to drive a critically injured infant to hospital because the baby's injuries were so severe both ambulance officers were needed to work on her en route, police say.

Noklair was taken to Southland Hospital on Monday morning, after police were called to the Princes St house. She was then transferred to Starship children's hospital on Monday afternoon.

Inspector Olaf Jensen, of Invercargill, said Noklair's father, David Milton, went with his daughter in the ambulance while her mother, Sucharitta Milton, travelled to Southland Hospital with police.

Mr Jensen would not say whether Mr and Mrs Milton were injured.

"The child and the father were definitely taken to the hospital by ambulance and, given the nature of the child's injuries, the policeman drove the ambulance to the hospital."

The criminal investigation was expected to take "weeks as opposed to days" and police were not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident, he said.

He would not comment further on the incident because it was under investigation.

St John Southern Lakes district operations manager Pauline Buchanan said it was not uncommon for police or firefighters to drive ambulance vehicles when a patient was "significantly unwell".

It happened, on average about 12 times a year in her lower South Island district but only when the ambulance officers had "explored all other options", she said.

When two people were injured at the same scene, the officers would "more often then not transfer them together", but she would not comment as to whether the father was injured or simply accompanying his daughter.

Given the nature of the incident, St John was supporting its staff, she said.

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