Man charged with murder of baby Mustafa Ali

The home where alleged incident happened. Photo: RNZ
A 10-month-old baby was taken to hospital in Te Kūiti unconscious and died later of what police say were non-accidental injuries. Photo: RNZ

Police have this afternoon arrested a 22-year-old man for the murder of 10-month-old Mustafa Ali in Te Kūiti.

The man is expected to appear in Hamilton District Court tomorrow, police said.

The police investigation into Mustafa’s death on June 8 and other incidents that occurred during his short life was ongoing.

"Te Kūiti residents can expect to see a continued police presence in the area as we continue to examine and reconstruct the full circumstances of Mustafa’s life," a police spokesman said.

There was the possibility of further charges as a result of this continued investigation.

Police were continuing to support Mustafa’s wider family, as they grieve the loss of their little boy, and our thoughts are with them.

Mustafa Ali was brought unconscious to Te Kūiti Hospital on Saturday afternoon.

"Tragically, despite the best efforts of medical personnel, he was unable to be resuscitated," detective inspector Graham Pitkethley said.

Police then launched a homicide inquiry.

Mustafa's injuries were the result of violent blunt force trauma and did not appear to be accidental. 

At this stage police believed both Mustafa's mother and father took him to the hospital and the fatal injuries took place the same day.

They have both spoken to police but Pitkethley said he had concerns there were inconsistencies with their statements.

Mustafa's father had denied any wrongdoing.

"Mustafa Ali is known to police in regards to a non-accidental injury previously that has been investigated," Pitkethley said.

Police were notified of this incident in October and Pitkethley said the investigation has been ongoing since.

At the time Mustafa received fatal injuries police believed his mother, family and potentially two other people lived at the house.

Family and friends buried the baby boy at the Te Kūiti Cemetery on Thursday. They gathered around the tiny grave, where a cross, flowers and soft toys were laid.