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R v Smith [2019] NZHC 1910

07 August 2019

Decision

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Summary

Mrs Smith pleaded guilty to one charge of murder of her granddaughter. The Court concluded it was manifestly unjust to sentence her to life imprisonment. Ms Smith's life had been marked by hardship. She had cared for her children, and then her grandchildren, and issues of disability, mental health, and violence were involved.

She had a moderately severe recurrent depressive disorder. Up until offending had appeared to be a committed grandmother, and the offending was completely out of character, but suffered from severe emotional, physical and mental exhaustion, and became overwhelmed by her circumstances. The Court imposed 12 years' imprisonment. Given the youth of the victim, and elements of premeditation, a minimum term of imprisonment of six years was imposed.


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