A babysitter has today been found guilty of manslaughter of a 1-year-old baby in her care.

A jury found Fijian-Indian Shayal Upashna Sami, 21, responsible for the death of Aaliyah Ashlyn Chand on January 6, 2015 at her Worcester St flat, but didn't intend to kill her.

The verdict comes after a two-week trial at the High Court in Christchurch.

Sami claimed that the child fell off a couch while sleeping in an "unwitnessed accident".


Defence counsel Jonathan Eaton QC said that while it was rare for children to die from such accidents, he told the jury that all experts agreed that it can happen.

But the Crown said the baby's fatal injuries - two skull fractures, bleeding in the cranial cavity and eyes, as well as extensive bruising on her face, forehead and ears - didn't match the babysitter's story.

The Crown said it was a reckless killing, with the injuries inflicted by Sami "in a moment of anger or frustration".

Aaliyah died in intensive care at about 8.30pm the following day with her parents, Dev Chand and Anjani Lata, by her bedside.