Christchurch infant Ihaka Stokes died after suffering dozens of separate head, face, and body injuries that don’t match explanations of accidental cot falls by his de-facto stepfather, a court heard today.
Troy Kevin Taylor, a 23-year-old roofer, denies murdering 14-month-old Ihaka Paora Braxton Stokes on July 3, 2015 at a Truman Rd property in the Bryndwr area of the city.
Ihaka was found unconscious and rushed to Christchurch Hospital where he died less than an hour later.
Taylor, ex-partner of Ihaka’s mother Mikala Stokes, was suffering from sleep deprivation and concussion, around the time Ihaka was developing an ear infection, when he caused the fatal injuries, the Crown alleged today at the start of a two-week murder trial at the High Court in Christchurch.
Both the Crown and the defence accept there were no intruders on that fateful night.
And today they agree that the injuries were not accidental.
But defence counsel Phil Shamy urged the jury of six men and six women to keep an open mind, telling them that there were two people at home the night he died.
The key issue of the trial, Shamy said, is: “Who did kill Ihaka Stokes?”
“Was it Ms Stokes or was it Mr Taylor?” he said in addressing the jury.
Did mum do it? Or dad? If they can’t prove either, the both get off with the murder of their baby.
– NZ Herald