The mother, Norefjell Davis, was found guilty of manslaughter and wilful ill-treatment of two-year-old Jacqui Davis. During the trial, it was revealed that little Jacqui was treated “like a soccer ball” as her mother kicked her repeatedly, sometimes so hard the little girl was lifted into the air. The mother punched, kicked and slammed the toddler’s head against the floor, and there were previous injuries of a fractured collarbone, arm, ribs, toes and pelvis.
She was a methamphetamine addict who used the drug during her pregnancy, and she tried to blame the assaults on her de facto partner who was also a drug and alcohol abuser. The judge referred to a level of callousness to her offending.
“For this atrocious behaviour over a period of time – not a one-off incident – the mother has been sentenced to just eight and a half years in jail, and will be able to start applying for freedom in just over four years. We have valued the life of little Jacqui as being worth as little as four years. This is offensive and insulting to the memory of Jacqui, and sends a dangerous message to rotten parents who abuse their kids,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Jacqui’s sentence is for life but Ms Davis will continue hers in possibly four years.”
“Signs of child abuse danger were present in this case – drug and alcohol abuse, presence of a non-biological parent, previous evidence of injuries – and it is concerning that this family was not being monitored and given appropriate pre and postnatal supervision with so many warning flags present. We are still not targeting the real at-risk families.”
“This judgement sends all the wrong messages about the communities’ stand against violence, and sets a dangerous precedent for future cases,” says Mr McCoskrie.