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Adults Made No Effort To Get Help For Nia Glassie, Court Told

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Rotorua, Oct 21 NZPA - For 36 hours after she was kicked repeatedly in the head, little Nia Glassie lay in a coma in a Rotorua house with no one -- not even her mother -- making any effort to get medical help, a court was told today.

The chilling details in the lead-up to the three-year-old's death at Auckland Starship Hospital on August 3 last year, were outlined to a jury in the High Court at Rotorua this morning.

Crown prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch's opening address in the trial of five people for murder and manslaughter was expected to continue into this afternoon.

The long delay in getting help robbed Nia of any chance of surviving her injuries, Mr Pilditch said.

The Crown alleges brothers Wiremu and Michael Curtis, murdered Nia by kicking her in the head a number of times, causing bleeding on her brain on the evening of July 20, 2007.

When she sank into unconsciousness Wiremu Curtis, the then-partner of Nia's mother, Lisa Kuka, told the toddler to wake up.

After she failed to do so he put her to bed, Mr Pilditch said.

In the early of hours of the next morning, Nia's older sister woke Kuka to tell her Nia had wet the bed, which was unusual.

Kuka who is charged with manslaughter, put the three-year-old in the bath, dressed her, and put her back in bed.

Nia did not wake up on July 21, while the adults were preparing for Michael Curtis' 21st birthday party.

By the time guests started to arrive she was seen having fits and frothing at the mouth, her arms were shaking and her legs were stiff.

One eye was partially open and her breathing was stopping and starting.

The five accused face multiple charges to which they have pleaded not guilty:

Wiremu Curtis: Murder, three counts of wilful ill-treatment likely to have caused unnecessary suffering, five assaults (three against Nia, one each against two older girls).

Michael William Curtis: Murder, three charges of wilful ill-treatment and four of assaulting Nia, two counts each of assaulting two other children.

Lisa Michelle Kuka: Manslaughter (by failing to provide medical treatment and failing to protect her daughter from violence).

Michael Paul Pearson: Manslaughter (being a party to the unlawful acts of Wiremu and Michael Curtis which caused the death of Nia Glassie), two counts of wilful ill-treatment, four assaults (two on Nia, one each on two other girls).

Oriwa Terrina Kemp: Manslaughter (being a party to unlawful acts), two charges of wilful ill-treatment, two of assaulting Nia. The trial is proceeding.

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