Man denies assaulting toddler

By Cherie Taylor

RECOVERING: Assault victim Caleb Skinner is on the mend and homeward bound with his mum Joanne Smith.PHOTO/FILE
RECOVERING: Assault victim Caleb Skinner is on the mend and homeward bound with his mum Joanne Smith.PHOTO/FILE

A Masterton man alleged to have seriously assaulted toddler Caleb Skinner and another boy has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Jason Mark Sutherland, 39, stood in the dock looking at the floor in Masterton District Court today when he appeared before Judge Pat Grace.

He faces charges alleging he assaulted 2-year-old Caleb and an 8-year-old.

Through his lawyer Jock Blathwayt, Sutherland entered not guilty pleas to one charge each of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assaulting the 8-year-old and breaching a protection order in relation to the 8-year-old.

Police withdrew a charge of assaulting Caleb once the new charges of grievous bodily harm were laid.

Mr Blathwayt said his client elected trial by jury on the injuring charge and a judge-alone hearing in regard to the 8-year-old.

Caleb was left fighting for his life when he was injured at his Masterton home on March 3.

The toddler had to be resuscitated by paramedics before being taken to Wairarapa Hospital were he was stabilised.

Later the same night he was airlifted to Starship Hospital in Auckland in an induced coma. He was transferred to the North Shore Wilson Rehabilitation Centre two weeks ago with his parents Joanne Smith and Darryl Skinner and was due back in Masterton yesterday.

Judge Grace remanded Sutherland in custody to reappear in court on June 12 for a case review hearing.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 Dec 2014 11:31:59 Processing Time: 383ms