Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Firearms charges against slain toddler Moko Rangitoheriri's father dropped

The father of slain Taupo toddler Moko Rangitoheriri has had firearms charges against him dropped on the same day his son's killers are sentenced.

Jordon Tawa Rangitoheriri, 29, was scheduled to appear in Manukau District Court for a judge-alone trial this morning. At the same time, the couple who killed 3-year-old Moko will be sentenced for manslaughter in the High Court at Rotorua.

Rangitoheriri's attendance was excused at court today and Sergeant Eardley Dijkstra confirmed three charges against the senior Black Power member were being dropped.

Read more:
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Moko Rangitoheriri's violent and tragic last days

"There were issues with the preparation and presentation of evidence," he told the court.

It was alleged on September 24 last year Rangitoheriri was in allegedly in possession of a shotgun without a lawful, proper or sufficient purpose.

He was also jointly charged with receiving two shotguns that had earlier been stolen. The charge sheet stated the accused received the guns from "persons unknown".

But on reviewing the case at the end of last week, police found it did not stack up and therefore offered no evidence.

Judge Mina Wharepouri dismissed the charges.

However, Rangitoheriri had admitted two counts of driving while disqualified.

He has been convicted "at least twice previously" for similar driving offences, according to court documents.

Rangitoheriri will be sentenced in August.

Moko died on August 10 last year after suffering months of violent abuse at the hands of his caregivers.

The 3-year-old was left in the care of his mother's friend, Tania Shailer, and her partner, David Haerewa, for two months while his mother was in Auckland with another of her children at Starship Hospital.

While Moko was in the care of the couple they subjected him to abuse including stomping, hitting, kicking and biting.

On August 6 last year they inflicted horrific injuries on the little boy and left him for four days before calling 111.

When he was admitted to hospital on August 10 he had facial swelling, internal bleeding, septic shock from his leaking bowel and swelling of the brain. He died hours later.

Shailer and Haerewa were initially charged with murder but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

- NZ Herald

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