A man who murdered one of his triplet daughters has been
sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non parole
period of 17 years.
Thomas Tamatea Ariki-Nui McGregor, 31, was sentenced in the
High Court at Wanganui this morning.
McGregor had earlier admitted murdering his 2-month-old
daughter Hinekawa who died on January 12, 2012 in Wanganui
A post-mortem examination found she had suffered a deliberate
McGregor also faced a wounding with reckless disregard charge
relating to another of the triplets, to which he also pleaded
Justice Ronald Young told McGregor it "is difficult to
understand how you came to this. You had a good family
background, no drugs or alcohol issues and you were involved
with your culture.
"You had good family support if you felt the situation was
getting out of your control.''
Justice Young said the victim impact report was about deep
sadness and ``that you had it in you to kill your child''.
"You will carry the scar of this offending for your life and
so you should.
"It is terrible offending and shocking to read.''
The court heard that McGregor began a relationship with
Tiffany Topia in 2009 and the triplets, all girls, were born
by caesarean section in Wellington Hospital on November 9,
The babies were later moved to Wanganui Hospital and
discharged on December 3.
From then until December 21 the family lived with the
defendant's parents in Waitotara.
They later moved to Wanganui.
The court heard that on at least four occasions McGregor
forcefully shook one of the other triplets, causing at least
four subdural haemorrhages.
Hinekawa, the second born of the triplets, spent significant
periods after being discharged with other family members to
give the accused and Ms Topia a break, the court heard.
On January 12 at 11.47am, McGregor sent a text message to Ms
Topia saying Hinekawa was at home, with the other two babies.
The court heard that within the next hour McGregor went into
the triplets' bedroom and picked Hinekawa up out of her cot.
He either swung or threw Hinekawa against a wall, the floor
or another object, causing a fracture to the right hand side
of her skull and a significant bilateral subdural hematoma.
She immediately became lifeless and attempts to revive her
McGregor sent a text at 12.46pm telling Ms Topia to return
home ``now'' as something was wrong with Hinekawa.
When she did she was met by McGregor carrying Hinekawa out of
the house and they took the child to Wanganui Hospital.
She was pronounced dead at 1.10pm.
In a statement, the family of Hinekawa Topia-McGregor said:
"We take each day as it comes and stay strong for our
children because we love them. Even though we no longer have
Hinekawa with us, we love her just the same, and we think
about how we are going to tell her siblings what happened to
her. We know they will have questions when they are older and
much like we do now; we will try to answer them.
"The life of our Hinekawa has been taken away and this will
continue to affect us for the rest of our lives. Every time
we look at the girls we are reminded that we have one living
with the angels in heaven.''