Nia Glassie’s siblings doing well with Dad
Nia Glassie’s siblings are thriving in Tokoroa with their grandparents and father as their mother and others implicated inÂ their sister’s death face jail.
Lisa Kuka, 35, was found guilty of two charges of manslaughter in the High Court at Rotorua yesterday after a month-long trial that revealed shocking details of months of abuse thatÂ ended inÂ her three-year-oldÂ daughter’s death.
Kuka’s partner, Wiremu Curtis, 19, and his brother Michael, 22, were both found guilty of murdering Nia. A cousin of Nia’s father, Glassie Glassie jnr, who asked not to be named, told the Waikato Times Nia’s three siblings from Kuka’s relationship with Mr Glassie, aged 12, 11 and 9, were thriving.
“The kids have an awesome relationship with their grand-parents, dad and the extended family,”Â Â the cousin said.
“Uncle Glassie and Aunty Celline and Glassie Jnr have been an anchor for the children. It has been amazing how the children have grown with their guidance.”
The cousin said the family wanted to put the trial behind them.Â “After what they have been through, it is time to let the kids be kids.”
Nia suffered a brain haemorrhage on July 20 last year at the Rotorua house the five accused shared. She died in hospital on August 3.
As the verdicts were deliveredÂ yesterday afternoon, a tearful Michael Curtis tried to leave the dock and had to be restrained by guards.
Nia’s cousin, Michael Pearson, 20, and Michael Curtis’ partner, Oriwa Kemp, 19, were found not guilty of manslaughter.Â Â AllÂ the accused, except Kuka, were also found guilty on other charges relating toÂ abuse at the house.
Kuka still swears she “did not know what was going on in the house”.
After the verdict,Â her lawyer, Panama Le’au’anae,Â saidÂ Kuka was “devastated” by Nia’s death and the little girl was “always in her mind”.
Hamilton-based child protection consultant Anthea Simcock said the case, and that of the Kahui twins, highlighted the need for people to speak out about suspected abuse.
PeopleÂ refrained from opening their mouths “because they think it is none of their business; we know the consequences of what happens when we don’t”.