A Whanganui man has been sentenced to prison more than three years after an eight-month-old baby died from injuries sustained while in his care.
In November 2016 Nicho Caleb Frater was caring for baby Bella Richardson while Bella's mother, Kirsty Richardson, was out of the house.
Frater, 26, was 23-years-old at the time and had moved into the same Whanganui property as Bella and her mother, after Richardson told him he was Bella's father.
Richardson's other children also lived at the address.
The summary read to court shows after dropping her other children at school, Richardson returned home to find Bella irritated, and left the house soon after to go to the central city shopping area.
During this time, in what defence lawyer Letizea Ord said was a "momentary loss of control", Frater picked up Bella and threw her which caused her to suffer a brain and spinal cord haemorrhage.
Frater alerted his mother who was also living at the address, and a call was made to emergency services but ultimately attempts made to resuscitate Bella were unsuccessful and she died from the injuries.
• Name suppression lapses for man charged with murdering baby Bella Richardson in Whanganui in 2016
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• Name suppression continues for man charged with Bella Richardson's murder
• Man charged with murder of eight-month-old Bella Richardson in Whanganui
In the High Court at Whanganui, Frater had his head bowed with his hair covering his face as Justice Cooke read out the events which caused Bella's death.
In the day's following Bella's death, Frater turned to heavy drinking and experienced black outs.
Frater was initially charged with murder in September 2018 and pleaded not guilty in February this year.
The charge was later changed to manslaughter and Frater pleaded guilty in October.
The decision to reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter was taken by Crown Law, which oversees criminal prosecutions.
At Monday's sentencing, Crown Prosecutor Chris Wilkinson-Smith said it was a case of Bella being "utterly vulnerable".
Wilkinson-Smith said Bella would have soon been turning four-years-old, would be playing with her siblings and would be excited about being an upcoming school girl.
The court heard Frater had used methamphetamine in the same week as Bella's death.
Wilkinson-Smith said the senseless act in which Bella died happened after Frater was "coming down" from methamphetamine.
Bella's grandmother, who was present for the sentencing, wrote a victim impact statement describing how damaging the past three years had been and how her family was "broken apart".
Bella's mother was not in court.
"She didn't think she would be able to cope," Wilkinson-Smith said.
At the time Frater was arrested police released a statement saying Frater was known to Bella and not related, but in court defence lawyer Letizea Ord said Frater was proud to be the baby's father and thought he was.
Ord said Frater thinks about Bella every day, and what she would be doing now.
A letter written by Frater was given to Wilkinson-Smith and Justice Cooke in court, in which he acknowledged and accepted the consequences of his actions.
Justice Cooke said Frater had some history of drug use, which included using methamphetamine on a weekly basis, and using cannabis on an almost daily basis since the age of 18.
The court heard that although Frater sought help from his mother and emergency services after Bella was injured, he did take steps to conceal the offending.
"This had the unfortunate consequence of shifting suspicion of the death to the mother of the child, when she was already in a position of unimaginable grief and suffering," Justice Cooke said.
Frater was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
The court heard Frater had 39 previous convictions before appearing on Monday, ten of which were related to family violence but none for offending against children.