28 Nov 2009

Woman sentenced to jail for beating son

3:52 pm on 28 November 2009

An Auckland woman has been sentenced to five years in jail for beating and abusing her son.

Itupa Julie Mikaio was sentenced in the High Court in Auckland on Friday over injuries she inflicted on her three-year-old son Benjamin in June last year.

He now suffers from long lasting injuries and is at risk of permanent disability.

Mikaio had been convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure, and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

The court heard she used part of a vacuum cleaner to beat the child because he wet the bed.

In sentencing, Justice Miller noted that Mikaio herself was a victim of child abuse and domestic violence.

Defence lawyer Ted Faleauto says his client's history set a precedent for her actions.

He says people like Mikaio are more likely to snap if they themselves have been exposed to situations of abuse.

When the allegations against Mikaio surfaced, the boy and some of his siblings were placed in the care of a caregiver approved by Child Youth and Family.

That caregiver has since been charged with abusing Benjamin and one of his sisters.