27 Jun 2016

Protests as Moko's killers are sentenced

6:35 pm on 27 June 2016

Protesters gathered outside high courts this morning to protest against Moko's killers being sentenced to manslaughter and not murder.

Murder charges against Tania Shailer and David William Haerewa had been downgraded to manslaughter, and they admitted those charges.

The decision to downgrade the charges prompted calls for tougher rules governing plea bargaining and an overhaul of the homicide laws.

As sentencing began today, about 500 protesters gathered outside the High Court in Rotorua, and there were similar events being held throughout the country.

Protesters chanted "murder is murder", while Garth McVicar from the Sensible Sentencing Trust said as a dad and a grandad he refused to accept the level of child abuse in New Zealand. "We've got to change it."

About 120 people have gathered outside the High Court in Hamilton in support of justice for Moko.

About 120 people gathered outside the High Court in Hamilton. Photo: RNZ / Jo O'Brien

Other protesters said New Zealand needed to "come out of the dark ages".

"Murder is murder, if you kill someone - you do the crime you do the time. It shouldn't be lowered down to manslaughter," one woman, a child abuse victim herself, said.

Protestors are gathering outside the High Court in Rotorua where a couple will be sentenced today for killing three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri.

Protesters gather outside the High Court in Rotorua for the sentencing. Photo: RNZ/Andrew McRae

Some 120 people gathered outside the High Court in Hamilton calling for 'justice for Moko', while about 50 gathered in Auckland.

Lance Gedge travelled from Auckland to Rotorua for the sentencing and told Morning Report he had children of his own, and the case of young Moko was heart breaking.

He wanted to let politicians know that enough was enough - and they needed to put something in place that was going to discourage people from hurting children.

Protestors are gathering outside the High Court in Auckland for the sentencing of the couple responsible for killing of Moko Rangitoheriri.

About 50 protesters at the High Court in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Joanna MacKenzie

Protestors are gathering outside the High Court in Rotorua where a couple will be sentenced today for killing three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri.

Photo: RNZ/Andrew McRae

Protestors are gathering outside the High Court in Auckland for the sentencing of the couple responsible for killing of Moko Rangitoheriri.

About 50 protesters at the High Court in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Joanna MacKenzie

A handful of protesters outside Queenstown's courthouse this morning.

A handful of protesters outside Queenstown's courthouse. Photo: SUPPLIED

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