Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

More than 100 previous convictions for Moko's killers

The couple jailed for killing 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri have more than 100 previous convictions between them, the Herald can now reveal.

Moko Sayviah Rangitoheriri died on August 10 last year from injuries he received during prolonged abuse and torture at the hands of Tania Shailer and David Haerewa.

His case shocked, saddened and angered New Zealanders and led to marches in his name against child abuse. Last week his killers were jailed for 17 years for manslaughter.

Court documents released to the Herald reveal that Haerewa had racked up 111 convictions before he killed Moko and had been in and out of prison since 1991.

His offending included burglary, wilful damage, possession of a knife in a public place, contravening a protection order, male assaults female, aggravated robbery, breach of parole, theft, receiving stolen property, escaping custody and a raft of driving charges and bail breaches.

Shailer had been convicted six times before she was jailed for her part in Moko's death. Her first offence was not until 2012. All of her convictions were for shoplifting.

The Herald was granted access to parts of Shailer and Haerewa's court file by Justice Sarah Katz.

Previous applications were declined, however as the pair have now been sentenced Justice Katz ruled that parts of the court file could be released to the Herald.

Shailer and Haerewa were sentenced last Monday.

They both pleaded guilty to manslaughter and ill-treating a child. They had originally been charged with murder.

Justice Katz said their sentence was the highest sentence imposed in New Zealand for manslaughter of a child.

Moko was assaulted over a two-month period in Taupo last year after his mother, Nicola Dally-Paki, left him with a couple while she was in Auckland looking after another child in Starship hospital.

Crown Prosecutor Amanda Gordon had asked for the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for Shailer.

She said the totality of the offending made it one of the worst cases of manslaughter imaginable.

Justice Katz said that while the court accepted there was a range of reasons Tania Shailer and David Haerewa struggled to cope with their circumstances, other families in similar situations did not brutalise and kill the children in their care.

- NZ Herald

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