The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

Killed and who cares?

Posted by pauaprincess on September 5, 2007

This story in the NZ Herald is really raised my ire today.  Alyssa Wilson aged 4 months was killed 3 years ago by shaking.  At the time she was home with her father and an Uncle, in her father Joseph’s care.  Her mother was at a bbq.

Experts concluded that her injuries were not accidental, the family were uncooperative during the investigation and Alyssa’s father Joseph Wilson was charged with manslaughter but two trials ended with hung juries.  Last year a third trial was aborted after one of Wilson’s relatives spoke to a juror.  The Crown decided not to proceed with a fourth case and withdrew the charge, which means nobody will ever be held formally responsible for the killing of Alyssa Wilson.

At yesterdays coroners inquest, her family didn’t even attend.

Children’s commissioner Cindy Kiro said

“Alyssa’s case highlighted the need for more public awareness around the dangers of shaking babies. It’s something that I know paediatricians have said will make a big difference. If people stopped doing that [shaking babies], it would stop a lot of brain injury and in some cases death.”

Good try Cindy but what you are implying is that this wasn’t a crime.  That sort of statement just gives people an excuse.

What this case highlights:

  • Is that families who have a child die under suspicious circumstances can get away with being uncooperative with the Police.  They’d rather obstruct justice for their dead child than put away the relative/partner who killed their child.
  • Because of a lack of cooperation, Police are unable to charge the offender with the offence they have truly committed, MURDER instead they have to rely on the charge of Manslaughter because they cannot prove mens rhea.
  • In this case two juries were hung because they could not agree on a verdict “beyond a reasonable doubt” that is because there were two people in the house at the time of the injuries and only one person charged with committing them.
  • That the crown will give up if they get mucked about enough.

What this case really highlights is that this childs family don’t care.  Apart from the Inquest staff and the Detective, the Herald reporter was the only other person at the Inquest.  Alyssa’s mother, Wikitoria Kem, told the Herald last night from her home in Massey that her daughter’s death was “a long time ago”. She was no longer with Mr Wilson and had no further comment to make.

I don’t know about you, but I would go to the ends of the earth to put away anyone who harmed let alone killed my child.  In fact I think I’d go further than that abysmal clan for my dog than they did for their daughter.

We need to get harder.  Police should be putting aside the caring face and charging unco-operative families who close ranks with obstruction and attempting to pervert the course of justice. 

We should not accept that people don’t know better than to shake a baby.  Visit any child clinic or maternity unit in this country and there are posters, pamphlets etc, which detail in a variety of languages not to shake babies and why.  The message is out there already.  It’s in the “well child” book every child is issued at birth that charts their progress and immunizations and is necessary to show to schools and kindy’s when children attend. Every child gets one and it’s available in multiple languages. 

There is no excuse. 

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