The man accused of murdering baby Karlos Stephens offered to give him and his twin brother to a nurse cuddling him, a jury has heard.

Shane Claude Roberts, 60, is being tried in the High Court at Rotorua where he's denied killing Karlos in Rotorua sometime during the hours encompassing November 29 and 30, 2014.

Testifying this morning Kotetauru Neillie Kennedy, the former nurse practice manager for a Ngāti Pikiao child health service, said a man she only knew as Shane had brought the twins into the facility in October 2014.

She'd picked up one of the babies because it was a bit grizzly, as she cradled him in her arms the man asked her if she liked the babies.


"I said of course I do and he said 'do you want these children?'. I said yes but the problem was I was going to Perth the next day and we would have to work through certain procedures."

Roberts responded they were having a family hui and asked for her card.

While in Perth she'd bought the babies Pooh Bear teddies but when she returned she was told one of them was dead.

Questioned by Roberts' lawyer Max Simpkins, the witness said her daughter would have loved to take the twins as she'd wanted a baby for 10 years.

Shane Claude Roberts is accused of the murder of baby Karlos Stephens. Photo / File
Shane Claude Roberts is accused of the murder of baby Karlos Stephens. Photo / File

Rachael Mahia Broughton told co-prosecutor Duncan McWilliam she and Roberts had an on-and-off relationship, he was the father of her three children, including twin daughters now 24.

She talked of a day Roberts arrived at her Homedale St house with baby Karlos.

"He said he wanted Pam (the twins' mother) and Karlos to meet us and she needed help looking after him."

Mum testifies in trial of man accused of baby Karlos Stephens murder
Shane Claude Roberts denies the murder of baby Karlos Stephens
Shane Claude Roberts denies the murder of baby Karlos Stephens
Mother denies allegation she killed her son in Rotorua High Court trial


When Roberts and the twins turned up on her veranda the following day she hadn't opened the door to them.

However as time passed the twins would be brought to her house for a bath, sometimes staying overnight.

"We were concerned about their welfare," Broughton said.

Both babies were always very hungry and thirsty, she said.

"Instead of six bottles we'd give them 12." Over time she got them into a sleeping and eating routine.

She and Roberts shared the babies' care, this had included taking Karlos to a doctor because of a possible issue with his testicles; they were assured he was fine and the doctor would give them a referral for him to be seen in a month's time.

Questioned by McWilliam, Broughton confirmed baby Karlos had spent a week in Whangarei with one of her twin daughters.

A few days after his return she went to lift Karlos out of his seat, finding him wet with sweat and a bit of diarrhoea.

"He had a bit of a fit or something, I was the only one to see that."

She and her family flew to Christchurch for her daughter's graduation from a pre-army course on November 29, 2014, leaving the twins in Roberts' care at her house.

She said that day her daughter called her father to say she'd topped her class, when she (the witness) spoke to him she could hear Karlos crying in the background and his twin Hosea "baby talking".

Roberts said Karlos wasn't very well, that he was teething and appeared to have flu.

Her daughter told him to take him to a doctor.

At 9am the following morning Roberts called his daughter again, she burst into tears saying Karlos had passed away.

"I took the phone, I was in shock, I couldn't believe it, I attempted to speak to Shane but I couldn't understand what he was saying because he was so upset too."

The trial is continuing.