Mum Gets Suspended Sentence Over Death of Daughter

A 27-year-old woman’s three-year sentence has been suspended for six years after she was convicted of one count of manslaughter arising from the breach of duty.

The court heard that 1-year-3 month old Rebeka Bainivalu died after the car her grandfather was driving reversed over her. She had been left in the care of her mother who confirmed with her father in law that Rebeka was safe inside the house.

While reversing the car to load the dirty laundry he drove over a bump and immediately stopped. The woman ran out of the car and after inspecting the child found her still breathing. In giving evidence, Dr Makelesi Kautoga said had presented with some fractures to her skull when she was brought to the hospital.

In sentencing the woman, Judge Riyaz Hamza said several factors contributed to the suspension of the conviction, one of which was that she had pleaded guilty, was a first time offender and that her husband is in NZ on a work contract leaving her to be the sole carer of their three children, the youngest being a one-year-old.

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