We've just heard that Auckland man Joel Loffley has been found guilty of the murder of 2-year-old James Joseph Ruhe Lawrence, known as JJ.
This has been a sickening case, and as the evidence unfolded, it got even moreso. The revelations of Loffley's violent past and his admission to his partner that he administered cannabis to JJ were especially sad.
And we find it a little strange that Josephine Lawrence has seemingly escaped prosecution for her son's death. After all she was aware of Loffley's propensity to violence, and in fact had been on the receiving end of it. She was also aware that Loffley used cannabis to pacify her child; her two-year-old child, for goodness' sake! And yet she left Loffley alone with JJ.
We don't support the death penalty as a punishment, but if ever there was a case of child abuse which could persuade us to change our mind it is this one. We hope that the Crown seeks a lengthy non-parole period for Loffley; one which reflects the gravity of this case, and the public disgust towards an especially callous and brutal murder.