Mayor scorns Nia Glassie's mum

By Cherie Taylor -
Nia Glassie, the 3-year-old toddler who was subjected to horrific abuse by her extended family. Photo / Supplied
Nia Glassie, the 3-year-old toddler who was subjected to horrific abuse by her extended family. Photo / Supplied

Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters doesn't know how murdered Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie's mother can live with herself knowing her baby was so badly mistreated and killed by people she knew were abusing her.

Lisa Michelle Kuka, 39, who was jailed for nine years and seven years concurrently in February 2009 on two counts of manslaughter - one for failing to protect Nia from violence and one for failing to take the injured child for medical treatment when she slipped into a coma - has made two bids for freedom. Each time her parole application has been denied.

Kuka's boyfriend at the time, 19-year-old Wiremu Curtis and his 21-year-old brother Michael Curtis were convicted of murdering Nia at trial.

Two others, Michael's partner Oriwa Kemp and Nia's cousin, Michael Pearson, were convicted and jailed for mistreating the girl.

Both have now been released.

The Curtis brothers' father, William Curtis, has just been released from jail after being convicted of abusing the toddler as well.

She had suffered months of horrific abuse before the brothers forcefully kicked her in the head causing fatal injuries. Nia died in Starship Children's Hospital in 2007.

Since Kuka was jailed she has made two applications to the Parole Board for release.

One in October 2011, when the board requested she undergo a psychological report and drug and alcohol counselling which she was at first reluctant to do, and the second in April this year when it was decided she would undertake drug and alcohol counselling or she would remain an undue risk to the safety of the community.

She is due to go before the Parole Board again in March when she would have served four years.

Mr Winters said Nia's abusers or any other child abusers should never be allowed to live a normal life or this type of horrific abuse would continue to haunt our communities.

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