A 22-year-old man charged with the murder of a 15-month-old Christchurch toddler has 24 hours to tell his parents of his predicament before he can be publicly identified.

The man from the Redwood suburb is accused of assaulting and killing Ihaka Paora Braxton Stokes on July 3.

Ihaka suffered multiple blunt force injuries including broken bones in the alleged assault at a house in Truman Rd, Bryndwr.

He was found unconscious and rushed to Christchurch Hospital where he died shortly afterwards.


Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Ford yesterday said the man was known to baby Ihaka.

The man appeared in the dock at Christchurch District Court today wearing a black T-shirt.

Judge David Saunders refused media applications to photograph him in court.

Defence counsel Phil Shamy asked for the man to be granted interim name suppression so he could explain to his parents what has happened "rather than them reading about it in the newspaper".

Judge Saunders granted the order, but only for 24 hours, which he said would give him sufficient time to inform his family. It will expire at 10.07am tomorrow unless an application is made to extend it.

Mr Shamy also indicated he was seeking an application for bail.

Ihaka's aunt has said his death was not a result of foul play. Photo / Supplied
Ihaka's aunt has said his death was not a result of foul play. Photo / Supplied

Judge Saunders said his court was too busy to hear the application this morning.

At 11.45am today a decision would be made to see if another judge was available to hear the bail application today.


He remanded the man in custody until July 31, when he will appear at the High Court.

More than 42 people have been interviewed by officers working on the homicide investigation.

Mr Ford said yesterday that the investigation into Ihaka's death was ongoing.

"We have seven detectives working full time on Operation Truman and they will continue to work tirelessly to ascertain why a 'typical' day ended so tragically for Ihaka," he said.

On Saturday Ihaka's aunty Marrisa Hunton - sister of Ihaka's heavily pregnant mother Mikala Stokes - said his death was not a result of foul play.

"This little boy was not murdered he died in a terrible tragic accident," she wrote on Facebook.

Ms Hunton blasted media outlets "out for a story" and said the family had been sent "horrible comments" on social media by "trolls and people who have no idea".