An Auckland father who admitted bashing his newborn baby repeatedly for the first four months of her life - causing 14 broken bones - has been jailed for more than four years.
And a judge has dismissed the violent man's claims that his own childhood abuse caused him to lash out against the baby - effectively saying the excuse was unacceptable.
The man was sentenced to four years and two months when he appeared in the Manukau District Court in May.
The violent father cannot legally be named as his daughter, who survived the horrific attacks, has statutory name suppression.
His partner was also charged, but the case against her was withdrawn after the man pleaded guilty.
Judge David Harvey described the repeated abuse of the child as "very serious".
"The offending involved injury to the head ... and there can be no doubt that a little girl of (your daughter's) age was particularly vulnerable and you were in a position where you had the care of the child and you were obliged to look after the child, provide for the child's necessities and not to harm the child in any way, shape or from," he said.
"A child is defenceless ... and I cannot overlook the extensive injuries this child suffered in this case.
On February 18, 2018, the baby's mother took her to a White Cross medical centre in South Auckland.
The infant had a swollen right elbow and an x-ray detected a fracture.
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She was transported to Middlemore Hospital for assessment and full skeletal survey- a series of x-rays of all the bones in the body - uncovered 14 fractures.
Each one was caused at a different time and some were healing.
The 4-month-old had skull fractures on both sides of her head; fractures to her sixth, eighth and eleventh right ribs and third, fourth and fifth left ribs; fractures on both sides of her femur and tibia and one to her fibular.
She also had breaks in both of her little arms.
The paediatrician that treated the child said her fractures were "classically associated with non-accidental injury".
Police said based on the medical evidence, the injuries were caused by the baby's father, using "a significant degree of force".
They said the injuries were the result of the man "violently squeezing", "violently shaking" and hitting her head "on both sides" with a "hard object".
After police were notified of the baby's admission to hospital they sought a surveillance warrant allowing them to intercept calls between the baby's parents during the father admitted hurting the child when he was "frustrated" and "tired".
The man was charged after three police interviews during which his explanation of the child's injuries changed.
After initially pleading not guilty and spending two years before the courts, the man finally admitted the violent offending earlier this year.
He was convicted on a charge of causing the girl grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard.
The baby's mother was also charged - but police dropped the case against her in May.
At sentencing the man sought a reduction of sentencing based on the fact he came from a broken home, and the childhood abuse he had suffered between the ages of 5 and 12.
The defence urged the court to "connect the dots" in the man's background to see a "causative factor" in the abuse of his own child.
But Judge Harvey rejected that entirely.
"I cannot overlook the fact that this case is aggravated by the large number of injuries that were suffered and the fact that they were caused mainly as a result of frustrations on your part, where you gave way to your base instincts rather than the ones that I would have expected - such as looking after the child," he said.
Judge Harvey said the report suggested the man was "socially disadvantaged due to repeated instances of abuse suffered" at the hands of a relative who herself was a victim of abuse.
But he did not accept that was the reason he abused his own child - particularly as the girl was not his first child.
His older daughter had not been abused at all and he had no previous convictions.
"If I was to follow that rationale (of the cultural report) then that rationale would justify - if it could be said that anything justifies the abuse of children - abuse of another child," Judge Harvey posed.
"That did not happen.
"What that report does demonstrate to me is that you were overworked, you were tired, you were stressed and that you had a short fuse.
"You expressed some concern that the mother of the children ... could bring the child to quietness and calm and rest and sleep without any difficulty at all.
"You did not have those skills and it appears to me that you behaved out of frustration rather than anything else and that there is no causative link ... between the difficulties that you have suffered in your past and the fact that you acted out of frustration."
Judge Harvey said there seemed to be "feeling" that the "mere provision" of a cultural report which suggested "some sort of social deprivation" automatically justified "some kind of reduction in sentence".
"I do not hold to that," he told the man.
"I am not prepared to allow a further discount with the matters that have been raised in the cultural report.
"I am prepared to allow a discount of 15 per cent for the guilty please which reduced the sentence of imprisonment to four years and two months."
Child abuse - New Zealand's horror statistics
On average, one child dies every five weeks in New Zealand due to abuse - one of the worst rates in the developed world.
Between January 1, 2019, and November 30, 2019, 11 children and young people died as a result of homicide in New Zealand.
According to Child Matters, more than two-thirds of the young victims were aged 2 or under and of the cases where the killer's relationship to the child was established - 27 per cent were mothers, 24 per cent were fathers, and 17 per cent were de facto partners.
The Herald has previously reported that the majority of children admitted to Auckland's Starship hospital as the result of suspected abuse or neglect are under 1 year old.
The median age of the children admitted for abuse - or neglect-related injuries was just 5 months.
Starship hospital child protection team leader Dr Patrick Kelly has said that head injuries were the most common in children admitted with injuries caused by suspected abuse.
Can you help?
If you have information about how this baby girl was injured - on any occasion - please contact the police.
Information can be passed on to the Counties Manukau Child Protection Team on 09 213 8571, or anonymously through the Crimestoppers reporting line on 0800 555 111.
Members of the public can also send police a private message on Facebook by clicking here.
If you're worried about a child you are urged to contact Oranga Tamariki immediately on 0508 326 459; or email email@example.com.
If the child or young person is in immediate danger, call police on 111.