Neighbours heard mother sobbing

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 05:00 16/06/2014

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The mother of a baby boy who is in a critical condition in hospital was heard sobbing as she raced to a neighbour's house for help saying "he can't breathe".

The drama unfolded yesterday morning on York St in Hamilton East.

The Waikato Times understands neighbours alerted authorities.

When an ambulance and police arrived at the house at 11.35am they found the 8-month-old baby in a critical condition.

The baby was taken to Waikato Hospital and then transferred to Auckland's Starship children's hospital. Last night his condition had not improved.

Police have arrested a 32-year-old man and charged him with assault on a child.

He is due to appear in the Hamilton District Court today.

The man lived at the address with his partner and three children, including the critically ill boy.

A person who lives on the street, but did not want to be named, told the Waikato Times she could hear a woman sobbing, saying the baby "can't breathe".

"She was pretty emotional, almost wailing."

The resident said she saw the mother of the child leave in an ambulance with the baby while the man was left talking to police.

"Then [police] arrested him and put him in the car."

The source said she had not seen police at the address previously.

The Waikato Times understands the two remaining children were now in the care of Child Youth and Family.

Waikato field crime manager, Acting Detective Inspector Mark Greene, said the address where the baby was found remained under guard and would be the subject of a scene examination by forensic experts today.

He said it would be inappropriate to comment further and could only confirm that the incident was of a "domestic nature".

"Domestic violence is no respecter of class or station. It affects persons from all walks of life and our message is: 'There is plenty of help available, you just need to take the first step and ask for help."' 

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