Jerome Dean, 21, made a brief appearance in the High Court at Auckland via audio-visual link this morning.
Entering his plea, he said he was taking responsibility for his actions and he did not mean to kill his baby, Thalia Samson-Dean.
Thalia died in Middlemore Hospital on 13 April, 2020, during the first nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.
According to an agreed summary of facts released to RNZ, Dean was at home in Papatoetoe with the rest of his family on the night of Thalia’s death.
Dean was trying to settle Thalia and became angry that she would not stop crying.
“He wanted to be the type of father who could settle his baby and was frustrated that he could not, suspecting that this meant Ms Kumu [the baby’s mother] may have cheated on him and that Thalia was therefore not his child,” the court documents said.
Trust me, not being able to stop a baby crying has nothing to do with DNA. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been unable to settle either Ben or Sam when they were babies. Sometimes have even loaded them into the car at 2 am to try and get them to sleep. Not even that worked always.
Dean then assaulted his daughter.
“He struck her at least five to six times with a closed fist, striking Thalia with the base of his hand in a ‘thumping’ motion. He later told police that he had used seven to eight out of 10 force, similar to ‘jabbing’ an adult in a boxing match,” the court documents said.
My God, that is horrific.
Looks I can understand the frustration. At times I have shouted in rage. I’ve sometimes had to call my partner in while I go outside for five minutes. At my worst I punched a wall. A screaming baby is not easy. But the though of punching a baby, let alone at a force in a boxing match is horrific.
And this case sounds like he was punching her not so much out of frustration, but because he thought she wasn’t his.
An awful case.