Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Complaint over autistic son's death

Otto Rapihana.
Otto Rapihana.

The mother and former school principal of an autistic man killed in a house fire have lodged more complaints about the circumstances of his death and the investigation into it.

Otto Rapihana died in November last year after he was locked in a west Auckland flat which caught fire while his caregiver was out buying takeaways.

Police decided not to charge the caregiver as they were advised no charge had a strong chance of being upheld in court.

Arohanui Special School principal James Le Marquand confirmed this week he and Otto's mum, Audrey Rapihana, have complained to the Human Rights Commission and the Independent Police Complaints Authority about the police decision, claiming the investigation into Otto's death was discriminatory because it did not take into account the level of Otto's disability, Le Marquand said.

An authority spokeswoman said it had investigated and was satisfied police acted appropriately.

Other investigations are ongoing.

- Herald on Sunday

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