A 10-month-old baby who suffered broken arms was left in pain and anguish by his carers, a Dunedin judge said yesterday.
The baby's mother and her partner did not seek medical attention for him despite his obvious suffering, Judge Kevin Phillips said.
Axelina Teraroa Pokipoki, 32, and Samual Charles Huntley, 29, were sentenced yesterday in the Dunedin District Court to six months' home detention for child neglect.
The court heard the pair told police the boy's pain was caused by him ''sleeping on his arm funny''.
Judge Phillips described that as ''an unbelievable Disneyland type creation''.
The judge said the couple had rejected concerns of family members who wanted them to take him to the doctor. The family then contacted Child Youth and Family because they believed that was the only way to get the care the child needed.
"This 10 month old child was seen by members of the whanau to be in pain, [it] was obvious to them," Judge Phillips said. "They had to go to CYF - the only way to get the child cared for."
The joint charge of child neglect, which has a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail, was laid after a paediatrician examined the little boy at Dunedin Hospital on January 31 last year.
A two-week-old fracture to the upper right arm was found.
The examination also revealed an older injury, a three-month-old fracture to the left forearm.
No medical treatment had been sought for either fracture, the summary from Crown counsel Robin Bates said.
Medical reports said the pain was from the two-week-old break.
It would have been painful for the child to be picked up.
He would have avoided using the right arm, which would have been significantly swollen, and he would also have been crying.
Pokipoki and Huntley were not charged with causing injury to the child because nobody could establish how the injuries happened, Judge Phillips said.
''You're charged with not getting this baby medical attention immediately,'' he told the pair.
Before home detention was available as a sentence, the defendants would both have been going to prison for 12 to 18 months.
The summary said that when police spoke to the defendants, they said the baby improved a couple of days after the injury presented and that was why they did not bother seeking medical advice.
Counsel Andrew Dawson (Pokipoki) and Jim Takas (Huntley) both argued for home detention for the couple.
They now had support from a community group and Child Youth and Family were involved.
Mr Takas described the parenting situation as ''very complex''.
Pokipoki had two older children who spent alternate weeks with her and Huntley.
The victim of the neglect was spending every other weekend with the couple, who also now had a 10-month-old baby.
And Pokipoki was currently 21 weeks' pregnant.
Judge Phillips sentenced the couple to six months' home detention, followed by six months' post-detention conditions.
Both defendants are to have counselling, treatment and must complete programmes as directed.
They are not allowed to use any alcohol or illicit drugs.