The judge handing down the sentence to a father who killed his 5-month-old girl says the man's actions were brutal, and he knew they would cause death.

Troy Solomon, 26, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder with a minimum of 17 years for the death of Aaliyah Solomon in Pukekohe in 2014.

There were gasps at the High Court at Auckland when the sentence was announced, but Justice Paul Davison said the sentence needed to hold Solomon accountable for the harm he inflicted on Aaliyah - who died from a blunt force injury to her skull - and the community.

Justice Davison said Solomon knew his actions could kill, and did it anyway.


He said Solomon was the sole person responsible for Aaliyah at the time and, as her father, he had a responsibility to protect her and he didn't.

He said Solomon's violence and drug taking created a dangerous environment.

When Solomon was arrested he told police he smoked "a fifty bag of weed every day".

After being presented with forensic evidence, he also changed his initial story about how the injuries were made.

Solomon told police he had left the child in a baby bath and came back to find her underwater. He later told police he had accidentally dropped her because he was stoned from smoking cannabis.

But Crown prosecutor Aaron Perkins said their witnesses stated the injuries could only have been made by blunt force trauma and it was likely the worst injuries were inflicted from swinging Aaliyah by her leg.

Justice Davison said the impact on the right side of her forehead caused extensive haemorrhaging on both sides of the brain and that the x-ray of her spiral fractured thigh bone, the strongest in the body, spoke for itself.

Aaliyah also had a bruised chest, abdomen and arm, and there was evidence of older injuries of a serious nature.


Justice Davison said there was no way to tell whether the older injuries were from Solomon or not, so did not include this as a factor in his sentencing.

Defence lawyer Phil Hamlin said Solomon accepted responsibility for the death, but that it did not amount to murder, explaining that it was a terrible accident.

Justice Davison also took into consideration that Solomon's partner of six years and mother to Aaliyah, continues to support him today.