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Sean James Donnelly, who killed his former partner's toddler because she wouldn't listen, was sentenced to seven years' jail for manslaughter today.

Three-year-old Cash McKinnon was found unconscious with head injuries at a Palmerston North house in August 2009. She died in hospital the next day.

Donnelly, 23, was accused of murder but later convicted of manslaughter.

Justice Alan McKenzie today sentenced Donnelly to seven years jail in the High Court at Palmerston North.

Donnelly had hit Cash after she had put a toilet roll into the toilet bowl.

When the little girl told Donnelly she didn't have to listen to him, he spun her around by the ankles, because he did not want to hit her again.

He saw her stumble around for a few minutes before falling unconscious.