Remand in custody for man in baby's death

BELINDA FEEK AND FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 05:00 18/06/2014

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Emotions ran high as a man charged with assaulting a baby who later died appeared in court yesterday.

The man, who has interim name suppression, was arrested on Sunday after an 8-month-old boy was taken to Waikato Hospital with critical injuries early that morning.

The baby died of his injuries in Auckland's Starship Hospital late on Monday.

The man made a second appearance in the Hamilton District Court yesterday where he had his application for bail further remanded by Community Magistrate Ngaire Mascelle to enable more information to be gathered.

The accused was remanded in custody without plea on a charge of assaulting a child, to have the application heard on Thursday.

In the court waiting room, ahead of the man's appearance, several family members cried and consoled each other.

The accused appeared upset as he was led into the dock, refusing to turn to face the public gallery where his family and friends were seated.

They shouted out in support, "love you, bro" as he was led away.

Outside court, his supporters were unimpressed with the media attention, with some yelling abuse and taking objection to the presence of TV cameras and photographers.

Meanwhile, two women who raced to help revive the baby are having nightmares over the incident.

"I'm struggling to sleep. I keep thinking about the kids; thinking about the mum and what she's going through. Our hearts go out to the whanau. I can't imagine what they must be going through."

The duo were emotional when the Waikato Times visited their home yesterday.

"I just keep thinking about seeing his face when I walked in, seeing that beautiful baby . . . who is gone. I just need some time to heal," the neighbour said.

The flatmates said they lived in a good, family-orientated street.

"We usually see kids outside playing, but since Sunday all we've seen is cars come and go and police cars parked outside. It's a constant reminder of what's happened."

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