Badly burnt Tokoroa toddler left to die in pain
Tyla-maree Flynn would be almost 11 today if she were still alive.
She’d probably be going to school in the Hawke’s Bay where her mother, Lisa Barron, now lives and is serving a sentence of home detention.
For what? Barron declined to say when asked to be interviewed for this story despite several requests to speak with her more fully.
Tyla-maree would be without a father- he died in a car crash in 2007.
But she’d also be without her step-father - the man responsible for her death according to a coroner.
Rikki Hotham - Barron’s partner at the time of Tylamaree’s death - died in a car crash in 2008 while awaiting trial for the toddler’s murder.
In 2011 coroner Gordon Matenga found Hotham responsible for the little girl’s death.
Tyla-maree was badly burnt before her death in Tokoroa on June 28, 2007.
The inquest found she died after developing a secondary lung infection and septicaemia a direct result of the burns.
Over twenty per cent of her body - including her face - was covered in blistering burns.
‘‘Rikki Hotham did cause the death of Tyla-maree Darryl Flynn by failing to seek immediate medical attention for her, ‘‘ Matenga said at the time.
However, he stopped short of saying Hotham was responsible for inflicting the burns.
Hotham had maintained his innocence throughout the police investigation, saying Tylamaree was burnt when her older brother turned on a hot shower at their Puriri Rd farm house.
But an autopsy showed otherwise.
Two doctors - experts in burns - provided evidence to say Tyla-maree had not been scalded by a shower, but rather had her face immersed in a container of hot water.
During the inquest Matenga heard that Tyla-maree lay alone in pain throughout the night before her death. She was found the next morning huddled in a ball.
Hotham - who was entrusted to care for her - downplayed it as a minor burn to her ear which only needed a cream on it. But hours later she was dead.
It took almost 15 hours for Tyla-maree to receive medical help - help that doctors say if given earlier would have prevented her death.
Tyla-maree Flynn (left), her mother Lisa Barron and the Tokoroa house where the toddler died.