A person at the centre of one of New Zealand's most explosive child abuse cases has been charged with assaulting a child - but blanket suppression orders mean the person can't be identified in any way.

The two new charges, which do not relate to any involvement in the earlier high-profile case, are of assault on a child and assault on a child with intent to injure and are alleged to have happened in Northland between early 2010 and the middle of last year. The charges have been laid in court in another province and the person has fought a lengthy battle for name suppression.

A District Court application for suppression was declined. The matter then went to the High Court and then the Court of Appeal, which granted continued suppression until the trial starts, which might not be until next year.

Details of the Court of Appeal proceedings, excluding the result, have been suppressed.


The person, whose age is in the 30s, has kept a low profile since being involved in the notorious earlier case.

In an unconnected child-abuse case, the man who killed 5-year-old Sahara Baker-Koro in Hawke's Bay has been sentenced to prison for 16 years.

Kerry Charles Ratana ran at a reporter in the courtroom after his sentence was announced on Friday, picking up his laptop and punching it, knocking it to the ground and damaging the screen.

He then fought with four prison guards before being led away to begin his sentence.

Ratana, 25, had pleaded guilty to Sahara's manslaughter, but had always denied sexually violating her in an Onekawa flat he shared with his then partner, Chantally Baker. He was found guilty by a jury last month.

Justice Denis Clifford told Ratana an "awful horror of events" had led to his appearance and he was "fortunate not to be charged with murder" as the sexual violation was "a trigger" for the fatal assault.

"It's hard to imagine a more vulnerable victim than a young child... it's hard to imagine a greater breach of trust than a parent assaulting a young child placed in their care."

The two charges arose from an incident on the night of December 20, 2010, when Ratana was in sole charge of Sahara, her 7-year-old sister and the couple's 2-year-old son.


When Baker returned home from work after 10pm, Sahara was dead. Her sister was asleep in the same room.