A young mother who had meth in her system when she crashed her car, killing her 2-year-old daughter, could walk free from jail.

Valencia Marie Skipper, 21, was sentenced to two and a half years in jail earlier this year, after being convicted of causing the death of her daughter Saphire Te Aroha Skipper-Hira.

But her lawyer Madeleine Laracy argued in the Court of Appeal last week that the charge was more serious than the situation warranted, which had resulted in a sentence that was too harsh.

In a just released decision from the Court of Appeal, the court has quashed Skipper's sentence, although the conviction itself stands.


The judges said the case needed to go back to the District Court "as soon as possible".

"We direct that a home detention appendix be prepared.

"The appellant should be brought before the District Court as soon as possible to decide bail in the interim."

Skipper was a forbidden driver when she lost control of a car she was driving on the Hawke's Bay Expressway on January 13, 2016.

Saphire was unrestrained in a child seat at the rear of the car. She was flung from the vehicle after it veered across the centre line into oncoming traffic and collided with the dirt bank of a ditch.

Witnesses described the vehicle suddenly "ricocheting" across the road with no explanation as to why this occurred.

Saphire received significant injuries and died at the scene.

Skipper's 11-year-old sister was in the front passenger seat and received minor injuries.

Blood analysis results confirmed Skipper's blood contained the class A controlled drug, methamphetamine. However, the concentration was unspecified in the summary of facts.

The crash occurred on State Highway 50A between Omahu Rd and Flaxmere Ave just before 5pm. The weather conditions were fine and traffic was moderate.