Killer Kerry Ratana loses conviction appeal

Sahara Jayde Baker-Koro was killed by her stepfather Kerry Ratana. He also sexually assaulted the 5-year-old. Photo / Supplied
Sahara Jayde Baker-Koro was killed by her stepfather Kerry Ratana. He also sexually assaulted the 5-year-old. Photo / Supplied

The man who killed and sexually violated five-year-old Sahara Baker-Koro has lost his appeal against conviction and sentence.

Kerry Charles Ratana pleaded guilty to Sahara's manslaughter, but denied sexually violating her in a Napier flat he shared with his then partner Chantally Baker.

He was found guilty by a jury last year and sentenced to 16 and a-half years in prison.

Ratana lodged an appeal against conviction and sentence but this was dismissed following a hearing in February.

In its decision, released today, the Court of Appeal agreed with the sentencing judge that Ratana was fortunate not to be charged with murder.

The incident occurred on the night of December 20, 2010, when Ratana was in sole charge of Sahara, her 7-year-old sister and the couple's 2-year-old son.

When Ms Baker returned home from work after 10pm, Sahara was dead.

Ratana admitted causing the girl's death by pressure to her chest, but denied any sexual violation.

- APNZ

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