SITTING hunched over, pale and weeping, Rikki Ngatai-Check explained how he came to twice kick a 2-year-old boy, inflicting injuries that would ultimately prove fatal.
With shuddering breaths, his hands moving from up from the chair and back to his knees, the accused admitted hitting baby Karl (Midgie) Perigo-Check, saying he never meant in his "wildest dreams to kill him".
Ngatai-Check's emotional 90-minute confession was played to a hushed High Court at Wanganui this week. No one spoke, no one moved ... the only sound was Ngatai-Check's voice broken with sobs as he confessed to the events that had led to the death of Midgie on October 24, 2009.
Facing Ngatai-Check across the bare table at Whanganui police station was Detective Brett Humphrey.
It was July and the 22-year-old was there to record his confession to the killing.
Ngatai-Check had already served six months on remand for murder when he made his confession.
He has pleaded not guilty to murder and the jury at his trial this week has been asked to consider a verdict of manslaughter.
In the recording, Mr Humphrey asked Ngatai-Check to tell in his own words what happened on October 24, 2009.
That Saturday afternoon, while "Midgie" slept on the couch at Ngatai-Check's flat in Halswell St, the accused and a friend smoked a couple of "spots" of cannabis, he said quietly.
Midgie's mother Lilah McGregor, 32, had left the flat earlier, taking two of her other children with her. Lilah has seven children, five of whom live with her.
Earlier, the court had been told that she and Ngatai-Check were having a "secret" relationship.
Ngatai-Check said that, after his friend left around 2pm, he was just leaving the kitchen when he saw Midgie sitting up looking at him from the couch.
The little boy was busy rubbing at a wet patch where he had been sleeping, rubbing his face on his shoulder, gulping back tears.
"I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck off the couch and swung him round and he hit the edge of the coffee table. Then I took him through and made him sit on toilet," Ngatai-Check said.
He went and lay on his bed and completely forgot about leaving Midgie on the toilet, he said.
About 10 minutes later he looked up and saw the little boy with toilet paper in his hands.
He sobbed, his head on his hands as he said: "I got mad. I was shitty."
There was a big mess of toilet paper in the toilet.
"I ... I booted him and he went flying backwards across the room into the wardrobe door, then fell on the floor in the doorway."
On his way out of the room to go and start cleaning up the toilet paper he "booted" Midgie out of the way. The boy was lying on his side across the doorway, he said.
"I was shitty - it was like something snapped."
When he returned the tiny boy, who weighed 11.5kg and was just 78cm tall, was crying and his legs were shaking.
"He never cries, so I knew something was really wrong," Ngatai-Check said.
Midgie was very pale, his lips had turned a "purplish-blue colour"and he wasn't breathing properly.
"So I just ran. I took him in the truck to the emergency department at the hospital. He was unconscious."
He phoned Lilah, who arrived at the hospital. He said he did not stay because there was a warrant out for his arrest. He took the other two children back to his flat and phoned Lilah at regular intervals to see how Midgie was.
Lilah called him an hour later to tell him they couldn't save Midgie and had turned the life support system off.
"She was hysterical."
Ngatai-Check broke down sobbing again, saying he never meant for Midgie to pass away.
He said he knew from television ads that you should never shake babies.
"I always thought what weirdo **** would do that anyway."
He said he made sure he had not hurt Midgie on his head because that was dangerous, so he had hurt the little boy in his stomach because he thought it was safer.
Midgie's death had haunted him so badly in prison he talked to the prison chaplain of his deep shame and pain at the terrible thing he had done.
"It was him [the chaplain] who gave me the guts to come and tell you what I done," he said.
Mr Humphrey told him he needed to explain to Ngatai-Check exactly what the injuries were that he had inflicted on the little boy - what that kind of force had been used:
•The blow from the edge of the coffee table had fractured two ribs in Midgie's back, causing a cut inside his lung leading to internal bleeding
•The first kick to the right side in the pelvic region had caused injury to Midgie's bowel and lacerated his intestine, causing internal bleeding
•The second kick to his upper abdomen had killed the little boy. He had hit the baby so hard that his pancreas was pushed against his spine and severed, and the spleenic artery was ruptured.
"He bled to death," Mr Humphrey said.
That amount of blood loss had meant the little boy was dying within 10 minutes, he said.
"It was a slow death for him - he passed away one-and-half to two hours later," Mr Humphrey said.
He likened the amount of force used on Midgie to the force of a head-on car smash.
Ngatai-Check wept, saying: "I'm so ashamed. I can't believe I got so shitty over something trivial like toilet paper."
Ngatai-Check talked about how he had loved little Midgie and how the little boy had loved to eat. "I used to try and feed him up so he would grow bigger - he really loved cheerios but the only thing that grew was his stomach.
"I don't know why I got so shitty ... I don't know why ... I am so ashamed that I have killed a lovely baby ... it's so frustrating because I loved him," he cried.