A father slammed his two-year-old daughter against a wall before stomping on her because she did not smile at him, a court has been told.
Kefu Ikamanu has pleaded not guilty in the High Court at Auckland to the murder of his daughter Seini Unaloto Ikamanu, causing grievous bodily harm by breaking the girl's shoulder, and injuring with intent to injure by breaking her pelvis.
Crown prosecutor Phil Hamlin opened the case against Ikamanu this morning.
He said Seini, also known as Jane, was at home with her father on March 23, 2010, while her mother was at work.
The girl had had been staying with her grandparents in Tonga but had moved back to New Zealand with her parents seven weeks before the incident.
"It appears Mr Ikamanu himself was not able to form a close bond with her. He became frustrated and angry with what he thought was the spoilt behaviour of his young daughter.
"He thought she never smiled at him and this made him angry.''
Mr Hamlin said Ikamanu had pulled his daughter towards him and thrown her against a hard surface which the Crown says was likely to be the wall of the living room.
He said Ikamanu then stomped on the little girl while she lay on the ground.
Ikamanu later phoned his wife at work and told her that Seini was not breathing properly, her teeth were tight and her hands were stiff.
"She came home to find Ikamanu in the bathroom with his daughter. She was completely unresponsive. Later ambulance officers described her as appearing as a ragdoll.''
Seini was taken to Starship Hospital where doctors found extensive bleeding on her brain, a broken shoulder and a shattered pelvis.
The shattered bones in her pelvis were similar to a crush injuries doctors found in children run over by a car.
"The injuries she sustained were beyond what doctors could put right, although they tried.''
Seini eventually died about eight months later from pneumonia which Mr Hamlin said was caused by the brain injury.
He said Ikamanu was spoken to by police two days after the alleged incident. Mr Hamlin said Ikamanu told a Tongan-speaking police officer that he had thrown Seini against the wall in the living room.
He later told police that was not true and that he had pulled Seini towards him and had her by the hand. Ikamanu told police that they both let go and Seini's head banged into the wall.
Mr Hamlin said the second explanation did not match the fatal injuries.
Ikamanu's lawyer Simon Lance said much of Mr Hamlin's opening address was "Crown theory'' not evidence.
Much of it was speculation and not accepted by the defence, he said.
Mr Lance said an example of this was that evidence was given about bruising found on Seini's chest.
"What we know is that Mr Ikamanu attempted CPR. Doctors will say the bruising on the chest is consistent with someone attempting CPR.''
He said the Crown had overstated his client's anger and resentment.
Mr Lance said his client did not have murderous intent and told police what happened on the night. "He told police about pulling his daughter towards him and her hitting her head.''
He said Ikamanu was there on the night - not Mr Hamlin.
"Not all deaths are a murder and this is one of the cases where it is not.''
The hearing continues.
Timeline of events, according to the Crown
April 14, 2007: Seini is born
September 2007: Seini moves to Tonga to stay with her grandparents
July 29, 2008: Seini's brother Manamoui is born
January 29, 2010: Seini returns to New Zealand to live with her parents
March 22 and 23, 2010: Seini's mother notices her daughter has bruises on her face, a red eye and bruises on her back.
March 24, 2010: Seini is taken to hospital with fatal head injuries, broken shoulder and shattered pelvis.
November 30, 2010: Seini has neurosurgery
December 6, 2010: Seini dies in Starship hospital.By Edward Gay @edwardgay Email Edward