National | Child abuse

8-month-old baby boy dies in hospital

An 8-month-old baby boy has died in Starship Hospital after suffering critical injuries following an assault in Hamilton at the weekend.

Emergency services were called to the property on Sunday and the baby was initially taken to Waikato Hospital, however due to the severity of his injuries was then transferred to Starship Hospital in Auckland.

In a Police statement, Detective Inspector Karl Thornton, Acting Waikato District Crime Manager, said "Our thoughts and condolences are with the family at present.  We have a substantial number of enquiries to complete before we can establish exactly what has occurred. We are continuing with a scene examination today and speaking to a number of people in relation to what happened prior to the baby being admitted to Waikato Hospital on Sunday."

A 33-year-old man at the address was arrested and charged with assault and appeared in court yesterday and will reappear in court today, he has been granted interim name suppression.

Police say they are awaiting the results of the forensic examinations and witness interviews before a decision is made on whether any further charges will be laid.

A post mortem will be conducted today in Auckland.

The death of the baby from what is believed to be a domestic incident follows the release of a report calling for a complete overhaul of the current system set up to support victims of domestic violence and child abuse.