2 Sep 2013

Woman found guilty of baby's murder

11:41 am on 2 September 2013

A woman accused of killing her one-year-old godson has been found guilty of murder at the High Court in Auckland, after a month-long trial.

Mariam Filihia was charged with murdering Terepo Taura-Griffiths (Popo) in November 2011 and also with causing him grievous bodily harm earlier that year. She was found not guilty on the lesser charge.

Filihia broke down in tears soon after the verdict was delivered. The public gallery was filled with Terepo's family, including his mother, who was also in tears.

The boy's parents say they now have a sense of relief that justice has prevailed and hope to move forward from what they call a nightmare.

The Crown argued the child died after Filihia struck his head against a hard surface. It said she also injured him earlier in the year, causing a brain bleed.

But Filihia's lawyer, Mark Edgar, said there was no evidence his client had caused the first injury.

The jury started deliberating on Friday afternoon and delivered its verdict mid-afternoon on Saturday.

Filihia has been remanded in custody until sentencing in October.