Mother jailed for silence on rape

In what is believed to be the first case prosecuted under new child abuse laws, a Palmerston North mother who knew her daughter was being raped by her partner but did nothing has been sent to prison.

In the Palmerston North District Court yesterday Judith Noeline Annette Burnett, 34, became the first person sentenced since a 2012 government law change brought in to punish those who stay silent about child abuse.

The law was introduced following public outrage at the deaths of Auckland babies Chris and Cru Kahui, and their family’s refusal to cooperate with police investigating the murders.

In an unusual move, Judge Barbara Morris refused Burnett name suppression because the child wanted her mother’s name published.


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