Regional | Child abuse

Toddler death result of extreme assault

Canterbury Police have released the name of the toddler, a little boy, who passed away shortly after arriving at Christchurch Hospital last Friday.

The toddler was 15-month-old Ihaka Paora Braxton Stokes of Christchurch.

Detective Inspector Greg Murton says, “We have received the post mortem results and it is apparent that he has suffered multiple blunt force injuries including a number of fractured bones and other non-accidental injuries.

The scene examination and post mortem results have confirmed that Ihaka was the victim of an extremely violent assault, or assaults, and has subsequently died of his injuries.

The homicide investigation into his death will continue and is making good progress.  The scene examination is now complete and the property will be handed back to the family today.”

In a media briefing, Detective Inspector Murton confirmed that a number of people were spoken to about the case, including the child's parents, but would not comment on whether the parents were suspects in the investigation.

He also confirmed that he had never before seen an assault of this nature, or to this extent on a child.

12 investigators and forensic specialists are involved in the case, and Murton said the Police are looking to bring the case to a successful conclusion.

The funeral for Ihaka is scheduled for Friday morning.