Anna Leask at the Herald writes:
A week before JJ Lawrence was murdered, his aunt went to check on him because his father was concerned the tot was in danger.
She thought the 2-year-old was okay, never imagining that days later he would be killed by a man who had been subjecting him to months of abuse, including breaking his arm twice and forcing him to smoke dope.
Yesterday – exactly a year after James Joseph Ruhe Lawrence died from a blow to his tummy so hard that his pancreas and liver split in half – the man who had made his short life hell was found guilty of murder.
Joel Loffley began a relationship with JJ’s mother, Josephine Lawrence, last year. While in Loffley’s care JJ received two arm breaks – one left for days as Ms Lawrence was too drunk to seek help – and numerous other injuries.
Obviously the problem was the lack of a universal child benefit.
Loffley “played rough” with JJ and was seen making him smoke an asthma inhaler full of marijuana.
JJ was visibly terrified of Loffley, but could do nothing to escape.
One of far too many cases we have.
I will never understand such cruelty to children. I feel protective about kids and babies, that are not even related to me. So do 99% of us. It is the most natural thing in the world.
Keeping Stock blogs:
When we blogged about the guilty verdict returned against Joel Loffley yesterday, regular commenter bsprout attempted to make a political statement saying this:
“It’s a pity that the government has only invested in the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff and have gutted all the initiatives that would stop these things happening in the first place”
Looking beyond the fact that the measures proposed by Paula Bennett in her White Paper on Vulnerable Children (a far more wide-reaching solution than Labour, supported by the Greens managed in nine years) have yet to be fully implemented, we suggest that no political initiative could have prevented this.
You can’t blame poverty either. As we recall, evidence was given at the trial that both Loffley and Ms Lawrence were receiving welfare benefits despite living together. Loffley supplemented his benefit by selling cannabis from the couple’s home. A lack of money did not cause JJ’s death. And bsprout should reflect on those ripping off the welfare system, especially those who think it is their “right” to do so. The money being paid out to welfare cheats would be far better spent elsewhere in the economy.
Their combined income was higher than many households. The problem was they spent it on cannabis and alcohol.
I hope it is a very long time until Loffley is out of prison.