A Porirua father who admitted killing his baby daughter has been sentenced to a four-year jail sentence.
The 24-year-old, who has name suppression, admitted the charge of manslaughter in the High Court at Wellington at an earlier hearing.
It is still not known how the man killed the 3-month-old girl, but the investigation into her death showed it could have been by throwing, violent shaking, slamming, hitting, or a combination of those actions.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, as well as five counts of male assaults female and one charge of assault on another child.
According to the summary of facts, he was at home with the baby victim in November 2018. The baby had been crying more than usual the day before her fatal injuries, and her parents took her to the hospital, but an assessment found nothing abnormal.
The next day, the baby's mother heard her crying in a sleepout on the property and went to see what was wrong. The father was holding the baby and appeared to be angry. He told the mother to go back into the main house.
As she left, she heard the child scream as if she was in pain, and rushed back to the sleepout, but the man again told her to go back to the house. Scared of a confrontation, she did as he said.
It was then that he inflicted the fatal injuries. She suffered instant retinal haemorraghing in both eyes and would have stopped breathing "immediately", the summary said.
He then left her in the sleepout and went to a friend's house for the afternoon. When he returned home in the evening, he told the baby's mother she had been fed and was sleeping. It wasn't until later in the evening that he brought the child into the house and said there was something wrong with her.
He joined in resuscitation attempts, but she was pronounced dead.
An examination of her body revealed brain bleeding and internal bleeding of the spine, as well as multiple historical injuries, including fractures to her ribs, collarbone, and finger. The man denied causing the injuries and could not explain how they came about.
The tragedy came after nearly two years of violent offending against his partner, including punching her while she was six or seven months pregnant.
On one occasion, the couple were arguing and his partner struck him. Fearing retaliation, she picked up their 1-year-old daughter, thinking he wouldn't hit her while she was holding the child.
But the man still swung a punch at his partner, missing and striking the child in the head.
He appeared in court again this morning for sentencing, where defence lawyer Elizabeth Hall read a letter he had written to the court.
In the letter, the man said he took full responsibility for the offending and wanted to "get better".
He described himself as "an unreliable dad, a really slack partner, and a disgraceful son".
Hall said her client had grown up with "extremely heavy violence" and also suffered cultural alienation as he moved back and forth between Australia and New Zealand.
He also struggled with alcohol and drug use, she said.
Justice Francis Cooke said a victim impact statement from the baby's mother outlined the effects the crime had on her and her other daughter.
"She asks that [the baby] receives justice but also that you be able to find the opportunity to heal yourself," Justice Cooke said.
He said the attack must have involved "significant violence", and that the fact he did not seek immediate medical attention was an aggravating feature of the offending.
When considering discounts to the sentence, he factored in the man's guilty plea, youth, limited criminal history, drug addiction and violent childhood, remorse, and systemic social and cultural deprivation.
"This is a critical time in your life . . . It is now in your hands whether, notwithstanding your background and the terrible thing you've done, you can find a way to address these issues and become a better person."
He sentenced him to four years and five months in prison, with no minimum period of imprisonment.
He also granted him permanent name suppression to protect the identities of his other victims.