Killer to be released
A father who smothered his 2-year-old daughter to death with a pillow will be freed from prison — despite still maintaining her death was “an accident”.
Philip Murray Kinraid was convicted and jailed for the manslaughter of Esme Claire Kinraid at their Hawera home on June 26, 2015.
On an undisclosed date this month he will be released.
The Taranaki father of two was putting his children, including a crying Esme, to bed and wrapped his daughter in a blanket.
However, Esme kicked it off, which led to the burly man flipping the toddler over and placing her face down on a pillow. He then pressed down on the back of Esme’s head with his arm.
In November 2016, the chemical engineer pleaded guilty to the toddler’s manslaughter — but only after a judge ruled evidence for a murder charge was inadmissible.
Police had obtained medical records which detectives said proved murder, however, the records were excluded because medical privilege applied.
A court order prevents the Herald from publishing specific details of the evidence, however, it is understood the Crown was relying heavily on it to prove the murder charge.
On February 22 last year, Justice Rebecca Ellis sentenced Kinraid in the High Court at New Plymouth to four years and three months’ imprisonment.
He appealed his sentence in the Court of Appeal, claiming it was “manifestly excessive”, but the challenge was dismissed this month, and after serving the minimum third of his sentence, Kinraid was released from prison.
Following a Parole Board hearing on July 9 at Tongariro Prison, the board found Kinraid had a “favourable parole assessment report and a new partner”.
“He has approved accommodation with [withheld] and strong family support of [withheld],” the report reads.
A psychologist’s report from May found “no further treatment was warranted” for Kinraid because he had “made exemplary progress” with oneto-one counselling.
“He is assessed at low risk but there is some need to strengthen his release plan,” the parole board said.
“Mr Kinraid has no previous convictions and the offence was inexplicable. Although, as he says, the death of his daughter was ‘an accident’, his actions which caused that death were unlawful and very serious.”
After sentencing, the detective in charge of the case, Daniel Coomey, told the Herald he couldn’t comprehend how Kinraid’s actions could be conceived as an accident.
“Most definitely not,” he said.
“No length of time served in prison is going to lesson the harm caused by Mr Kinraid.”
Philip Kinraid was sentenced to four years and three months’ imprisonment in February last year.