3 Jun 2016

No bail for man charged after toddler death

6:09 pm on 3 June 2016

An Auckland man charged with gun possession in relation to a two-year old's death has been denied bail.

A police officer stands outside the house on Favona Road where the two-year-old was found dead on 2 June 2016.

A police officer stands outside the house on Favona Road in Mangere, where the two-year-old was found dead. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The man was charged with illegal possession of a pistol, and was arrested following the death of the girl at her family home in Mangere.

He appeared at the Manukau District Court this afternoon, where he was granted interim name suppression.

Emergency services arrived at Favona Road just before midday yesterday, but the toddler had already died.

She was thought to have been shot and killed with a shotgun at the home.

A large number of family and friends gathered outside the courtroom today, where they sang and prayed, offering messages of support for the defendant.

Inside the court room the man was visibly emotional, at times gently weeping and exchanging glances with relatives.

After the appearance, tensions were heightened between some of his supporters and members of the media, with one journalist shoulder barged as he left the court room.

Judge McIlraith turned down a request for bail, but said the defendant would be allowed to attend the girl's funeral in the next few days.

A date for the funeral is yet to be determined.

The man is scheduled to reappear in court on 24 June.

Cordons remained at the house this morning, as police searched the roof and the front yard.

Forensic examinations are underway and police are still speaking to witnesses and family members.

Police said more charges may yet be laid at the end of the investigation.

Earlier today local MP Su'a William Sio called on the community to be calm, saying some people were angry after the child's death.

But he said the family needed to have time to mourn the girl's death.

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