A distraught father says no punishment will ever ease the trauma he and his wife know after having their baby kidnapped from her cot by their nanny.
Earlier today, 21-year-old Nadene Faye Manukau-Togiavalu - who planned the kidnapping of a newborn baby after faking an elaborate and delusional pregnancy to fool friends and family - was jailed for three years.
Manukau-Togiavalu, who was working for the family, had also conned her 18-year-old cousin Sydnee Shaunna Taulapapa to kidnap the then 11-day-old baby from her parents' Pah Rd home in the Auckland suburb of Epsom during the early hours of August 9 last year.
Manukau-Togiavalu, who was sentenced for kidnapping, burglary, criminal harassment, making an intimate visual recording and dishonestly using a document, had faked an elaborate pregnancy by using several pregnancy suits as part of her scheme.
"Nearly 11 months ago our lives were turned upside down by Nadene Manukau-Togiavalu and her stoop Sydnee Taulapapa," the father of the baby said in a statement provided to the Herald.
"They meticulously planned and prepared over several months to kidnap our newborn child. We invited Nadene into our home to help care for our baby daughter. We trusted the nanny agency that found and recommended her.
"And in return we were plunged into hell for the longest seven hours of our lives."
The father and his wife, whose identities are suppressed, said there was "nothing more reprehensible" than what the two young women did to their newborn daughter.
"Taking a defenceless and vulnerable 11-day-old baby from her parents. And throughout the ordeal, being able to end it at any time, they chose to continue the charade that they knew nothing of her whereabouts."
He praised the police for their efforts as he and some 80 officers scoured the streets looking for his daughter - finding her several hours later.
"The sentence handed down today by Justice Mathers to Nadene Manukau-Togiavalu for kidnapping our baby, brings some small measure of relief to us, that the seriousness of her violation of our family unit has been acknowledged, at least in part.
"No sentence will ever remove from us the trauma that Nadene caused our family, but it is of some comfort to know that the sentencing at least reflects at some level, the depth of evil she committed against us and others."
However, he said he was "shocked and dismayed" when Justice Peter Woodhouse discharged Taulapapa without conviction.
She was discharged without conviction but ordered to complete 400 hours' community work and pay $2000 to the baby's parents, if they accepted it, or to a children's charity.
"This is appalling," he said.
"This effectively says to every New Zealand parent that their children are not safe. These two disturbed people broke into our home, staged a burglary, and kidnapped a newborn baby."
However, the court heard today that the Solicitor-General has appealed Taulapapa's sentence.
The father claimed that neither women had shown any genuine remorse.
"What protection is there in the justice system for parents and their young children?" the father asked.
"How do we keep them safe when there is such little consequence for committing
The court has previously heard that Manukau-Togiavalu has serious health issues and had fabricated a story where she'd convinced her family and friends that she'd been forced to give up her baby.