Killer of Gracie May McSorley sentenced to eight years in prison

A man who killed a 6-month-old baby girl has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Michael Kereopa has been sentenced at the High Court in Wellington for the manslaughter of Gracie May McSorley.

She suffered injuries so severe was as though she had been in a high-impact car crash.
Kereopa was left alone with Gracie May at her home in Raumati Beach for only 45 minutes last July.

Michael Kereopa has been sentenced at the High Court at Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Michael Kereopa has been sentenced at the High Court at Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The 32-year-old was originally charged with assaulting a child, then murder.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month.

Justice Rebecca Ellis said exactly what happened to Gracie May to cause the fatal injuries are unknown because Kereopa's descriptions of what happened don't match medical assessments.

She said every child was precious; no baby or child should have their life taken away by an act of violence.

Her family say they're still living in fear.

Her aunt Victoria Balmforth said outside the court: "Losing Gracie has torn our family. Every man who enters our household is a threat. Every person who looks at Gracie's sister Isabella is being scrutinised."

The family say they wanted Kereopa to get a life sentence.

- NZ Herald

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