ZB

'Manipulative' woman who hid daughter's injuries behind face paint on flight jailed

Author
Ric Stevens, Open Justice,
Publish Date
Thu, 27 Jan 2022, 11:26am
(Photo / NZME)
(Photo / NZME)

'Manipulative' woman who hid daughter's injuries behind face paint on flight jailed

Author
Ric Stevens, Open Justice,
Publish Date
Thu, 27 Jan 2022, 11:26am

Public Interest journalism, funded through NZ on Air

A woman has been jailed for three years and two months after she punched her daughter, hit her in the head with a hammer, painted her face to hide the injuries and put her on an Air New Zealand flight to avoid responsibility. 

The girl's abuse was discovered in June 2020 when the woman attempted to send her from Hawke's Bay Airport to the child's aunt in the South Island as an unaccompanied minor. 

Two flight attendants became suspicious and cleaned away the then 9-year-old girl's face paint, revealing her injuries. 

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared via video link from prison on Thursday to be sentenced in the Napier District Court. 

Judge Geoff Rea acknowledged that the woman had endured a "hard life", a disadvantaged upbringing and that there was no doubt she had been a victim herself. 

However, he was critical of her attempts to "manipulate" the people involved in the justice system and for bringing her matter to a defended trial where the girl had to give evidence. 

A jury last October found the woman guilty of two charges of injuring with intent, one of assault with a blunt instrument, one of neglecting a child, and two of trying to defeat the course of justice. She has been in custody since then. 

Judge Rea said the starting point for such violent offending was three years, but he lifted it by six months for the neglect displayed in not taking the girl to a doctor. He then added another six months for her efforts to make relatives lie about what had happened. 

However, after receiving a cultural report and a letter of remorse, he gave the woman a 20 per cent discount for her upbringing, and for efforts at counselling and to overcome addiction.