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Auckland Woman tourtured and murdered baby

Filed under: General — Vman @ 4:11 pm Tue 25th November 2008

An Auckland woman has been sentenced to life imprisonment with minimum non parole period of 17 years for the murder of ten month old baby Jynia Te Awa.

Tiana Kapea, who was the child’s minder, has also been sentenced to three years jail on a cruelty charge – that is to be served concurrently with the life sentence.

Kapea, 30, admitting murdering Jyniah last year.

Kapea was baby sitting Jyniah when she was taken from a Manurewa house to Middlemore Hospital in September last year with a brain injury.

She was transferred to Auckland’s Starship Hospital but died the next day.

The court was told that Kapea was a trusted friend of Jyniah’s family.

During her short life, the baby was held against a gas heater, swung around by her hair, hung on the back of a wardrobe door and put in a closed freezer several times.

She died from injuries after being kicked, thrown against a wall, shaken and smothered.

Jyniah’s mother Lisa Cassidy says she still can’t believe Kapea abused her baby, when she had trusted her.

She says she went to church, she had good children and was a best friend to her.

Cassidy says the sentence gives her family some closure and says every night she and her children cry and pray to have nice dreams.

Relatives of Jynia wore t-shirts in court with slogans demanding justice for the little girl on Tuesday.

They burst into spontaneous applause when the sentence was announced.


  1. Thank you Dave. I have added this to the earlier record from the original hearing February 07

    Comment by Alastair — Tue 25th November 2008 @ 4:49 pm

  2. i cnt believe wat is happening 2 the children of our country!it is so sad to knw there are children out there that are being abused daily and people knw about it and do nothing till it is too late!!!it totally sickens me!its high time people woke up 2 child abuse and report it,this could save many precious lives and give the child a chance to live a better life with another family who will truly love and care for them!!!!child killers will gt theirs back wen the time of judgement comes!!!!!!

    Comment by christina — Wed 26th November 2008 @ 11:43 am

  3. Yes poster #2, it’s hard to understand. Many here would say that even more important than reporting child abuse is strengthening the family, increasing respect for maintaining intact biological families for children to grow up in, and ensuring full involvement of both parents in children’s lives. One could also point to the importance of increasing everyone’s sense of belonging and responsibility concerning the society we live in, and that won’t be done by becoming more punitive. Further, I would argue that we need more right to manage our own streets and communities, rather than being told “leave it to the police” and being prosecuted as if the criminal when we intervene to stop others’ criminal behaviour.

    A big problem with reporting suspected child abuse is that the agencies funded to respond cannot be trusted to handle situations sensibly. They will either show incompetence or be too quick to remove children rather than provide support to parents who are not coping. The rescuers far too readily become the worst abusers, mainly in an effort to protect their own backs. From my experience one of the reasons for the poor responses is that risk assessment is not done well or based on good science. Instead, individual social workers are given far too much licence to push their own subjective barrows. We hear numerous complaints from parents who have had children removed mainly because those parents disrespected the social worker who then prosecuted their case in vendetta-like fashion. We need agencies we can trust to be even-handed, sensible and to put children’s interests first. The risk and abuse in the child’s family needs to be extreme before it outweighs the inherent abuse in ripping the child away from its biological parents.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Wed 26th November 2008 @ 12:35 pm

  4. Government agencies like family court have all their resources wasted by simple family disputes that necessitate only few hours to be solved if not none(the disputes are often referred to the court by women’s refuge in order to manufacture fat violence stats to get funding from governement). Involvement of family court in these disputes results in abuse of children, mums and dads while serious abuse goes unseen and children loose thier lives.

    Family court and other agencies are incapable of responding to violence. In fact they create most of it. Family court has lost basic common sense and fairness. Its armada of judges are mere legal technicians and administrators.

    Women’s refuge whose role is to advance womens rights and protect those in need is currently fighting a devious war against men (‘bastards’)
    Women be aware.

    Comment by tren — Thu 27th November 2008 @ 1:18 pm

  5. Funny how she got sentenced on white ribbon day!

    Comment by Scott — Thu 27th November 2008 @ 5:12 pm

  6. Yes Scott I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that!

    Notice also how this case has been given very little media coverage. Yet it is one of the worst cases I have heard about.

    Comment by Dave — Mon 1st December 2008 @ 6:58 pm

  7. An English mother tortured and killed her baby girl. The local council investigated 60 times but took no action to protect the child. Could you imagine that happening if the abuser was the father?

    Full story:

    Comment by Dave — Tue 2nd December 2008 @ 4:48 pm

  8. A German mother killed two of her babies and stashed them in the family freezer for years.
    Full story here.

    Comment by Dave — Tue 2nd December 2008 @ 4:50 pm

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