Woman faces charges over Rotorua baby Trent Matthews' death
Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:00a.m.
The death of a one-year-old baby boy in Rotorua has resulted in a charge of assault against the woman who was looking after him.
It is not that long since Rotorua was reeling from the headlines in the Nia Glassie case, so what has happened in this case is bound to get public scrutiny.
A resident at the house called 111 at 7:30am on Friday morning, but by the time police and ambulance workers arrived, the baby boy was already dead.
Trent Matthews’ body was lying under blankets on a makeshift bed on the living room floor when emergency workers arrived.
He had been dead for some time, and nothing could be done to revive him.
He was taken to Auckland for autopsy and has since been released to the whanau.
Police do not know yet how Trent died, but 3 News understands bruising has been found on the boy’s body.
A post mortem was held on Saturday – at this stage the result of that is inconclusive police are awaiting forensic results.
Trent was 12 months old, and had been living at the house for most of his life in the care of his uncle Jo Matthews, and his 29-year-old partner Sasha Pene.
She has now been charged with assault, and police say further charges could be laid.
Neighbours say they are shocked by the toddler’s death.
“It just rips me apart that this should happen,” says neighbour Angie Philp. “I mean, what does a one-year-old do to deserve this?”
“I’m sort of embarrassed to be in a city like this, when things like that are going on next door,” says neighbour Karalyn McRoy.
The case comes almost two years after the death of Nia Glassie, who was subjected to months of torture and neglect by her caregivers.
Child advocates say it is another grim reminder of New Zealand’s shameful record in child abuse.
“As New Zealand citizens we have not got a good track record with child abuse,” says Plunket President Carol Becker.
“We have to all work together so we can provide more support for families out there.”
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11/12/2009 11:52:39 a.m.
To Fou you think you know what your talking about but you dont know nothing and as for his parents they threw him away like he was nothing the same day he was born she took him in and loved him more then anyone out there she did all she could to keep him out of the system coz his mother didn't want him you dont know her it's people like YOU who are making it harder and harder for parents coz you are so judge mental when you dont know any facts get over yourself and stop commenting on people you dont know nothing about...
11/06/2009 8:25:47 p.m.
FOU how can you say this when you don't know you are judgeing this lady on what the media have said, people like you should keep you opinions to yourself, and wait for FACTS if she comes out clear on this with NO futher charges i also think there should be a public apology, is it not hard enough to grieve the loss of a child and on top of that going through a whole lot of BS
10/06/2009 4:49:36 p.m.
TO ALL YOU PEOPLE OUT THERE, WHO THINK YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPEND TO TRENT...YOU DONT. SASHA WOULD NOT HURT ANYONE, SHE LOVED TRENT AND LOVES KIDS... WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER, ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO ARE SLAGGING HER OFF THE MEADIA AND THE POLICE SHOULD ALL APOLOGISE..TRENT DID NOT HAVE BRUISES ALL OVER HIM. SASHA DID NOT DO ANYTHING WRONG!!!
9/06/2009 12:23:40 p.m.
I hope this woman rots in jail, and she shouldn't be allowed to keep the baby she's carrying right now. How could someone hurt an innocent child. Where are Trent Matthews biological parents? Wasn't Nia's death cruel enough for people to start hurting children. Should be eye for an eye.
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