20 Jan 2016

Murder charge laid over 15-month-old's death

1:40 pm on 20 January 2016

A 30-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a Greymouth toddler who died in April last year.

Leith Allen Hutchison

Leith Allen Hutchison Photo: Supplied

Greymouth police confirmed today they had arrested a man over the death of Leith Hutchison.

The 15-month-old died in Starship Hospital in Auckland, two days after he was transferred there.

He had been flown to the hospital after he stopped breathing, and was later found to have a brain injury.

Tasman District crime manager detective inspector Paul Borrell said the arrest came after a "comprehensive and intensive criminal investigation" .

The man appeared in the Greymouth District Court today and was granted name suppression. He has been remanded in custody to appear at the Christchurch High Court on 12 February.

In a statement released by the police, a spokesperson for Leith's family said they were relieved someone had been brought before the courts.

"The past months have been harrowing for myself and the rest of my family. We know that we now have to go through a very difficult time, and let justice run its course.

"Our thoughts are never far away from our baby Leith, who we will never forget, and who is always in our hearts.