South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place -

On Mon­day, the two peo­ple en­trusted to care for 3-year-old Moko Ran­gi­to­heriri were sen­tenced to 17 years in jail - one of the long­est sen­tences ever handed down for man­slaugh­ter in this coun­try.

For me, and the team of re­porters who have been work­ing on the case for the last 10 months, it brought up many emo­tions.

We were there when the hor­rific de­tails of what Moko en­dured be­fore his death were first made pub­lic.

We were there when his aunt broke down in our news­room and spoke of how Moko’s sis­ter tired to hide her brother from his killers - but failed- later be­ing forced to in­flict abuse on him her­self.

At times we were all in tears. As a par­ent it is un­fath­omable to me that any­one could ever do that to a child.

Last night I hugged my boys that lit­tle bit tighter- I told them I loved them prob­a­bly a lit­tle too many times.

It was one small thing I could do to pro­tect our coun­try’s kids. Ni­cola Bren­nan-tu­para

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