6 May 2015

Guilty plea over toddler death

12:31 pm on 6 May 2015

A Whanganui woman sobbed in court this morning after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of a toddler who died in the grounds of Whanganui Hospital in January.

Whanganui Hospital

Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The 35-year-old, who works at the hospital, appeared at the High Court in Whanganui this morning in relation to the death of the 16-month-old.

No conviction was entered, and the woman's lawyer, Debbie Goodlet, told the court she intended to apply for a discharge without conviction.

Justice Dobson remanded the woman until 5 June and continued interim name suppression for her and for the father of the child.

He said the woman should be prepared to be sentenced that day, should the application for a discharge without conviction fail.

Ms Goodlet said her client would apply for permanent name suppression.

The judge ordered a pre-sentence report to see if the woman was suitable for home detention.

Last month, Whanganui District Health Board chief executive Julie Patterson said the board would continue to support the woman and her family through the challenging times ahead.

She would not say whether the woman had been stood down since being charged.