29 Dec 2008

Accused killer of child remanded in custody

9:30 pm on 29 December 2008

A man accused of murdering a child in Kerikeri appeared at a special hearing at the Kaikohe District Court on Monday and was remanded in custody until 12 January.

The man, 21, a beneficiary, was arrested on Saturday night. He also faces six methamphetamine-related charges.

No bail application was made, but his lawyer asked for the accused's identity to be suppressed, arguing that the dignity of the child's funeral on Tuesday morning needs to be protected. The request was granted.

Riley Justin Osborne, aged 16 months, died on 23 December after being transported by helicopter to Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland on 19 December.

Post mortem results issued on Sunday show that he died as a result of significant head injuries, which left him blind and brain damaged.