15 Dec 2009

Parents who killed infant sent to prison

10:25 pm on 15 December 2009

The father of an 11 week old child who was starved and beaten to death has been sentenced to prison for at least 17 years for her murder.

The parents of baby Tahani were charged over her death on New Year's Day last year.

At the High Court in Auckland last month, her father Azees Mahomed was found guilty of murder, grievous bodily harm and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Her mother, Tabbasum Mahomed, was also convicted for failing to provide the necessaries of life.

The baby suffered systematic abuse and the Crown Prosecutor told the court the 11 short weeks of her life would have been exquisite pain.

During sentencing on Tuesday, Justice Harrison said Azees Mahomed's actions were cruel and callous, as well as brutal and deliberate.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years.

Tabbusum Mahomed has been sentenced to four years in prison. Afterwards, she will be deported to her home country of South Africa.

Sickening case - police

The police say the jail sentence is a powerful statement to those who are going to harm their children.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Lynch, who lead the investigation, says it was a sickening case to work on and he is pleased with the sentence.

He says he has never seen an 11 week old baby with such bad injuries.

Detective Lynch says there are a lot of unanswered questions about what actually happened and why it happened, but unless one of the Mahomeds speaks out police will never know.