Home > Abuse, Bad Boyfriend, Child Abuse, Killing, Punishment, Torture > Man jailed for killing toddler.

Man jailed for killing toddler.

Sean James Donnelly, child killer.

Sean James Donnelly, the man who killed Palmerston North toddler Cash McKinnon, has been sentenced to seven years’ jail for manslaughter. Three-year-old Cash died on August 19, 2009 while in Donnelly’s care. Article continues below:

Man jailed over toddler Cash’s killing.

He admitted causing the toddler’s death after he swung her around by the ankles as punishment for putting a toilet roll in the toilet. He dropped Cash, causing the severe head injuries that eventually killed her.

Donnelly, 23, was later charged with murder but found guilty of manslaughter during a trial in the High Court at Palmerston North last month. Justice Alan MacKenzie said Donnelly’s acquittal on the murder charge did not minimise the seriousness of his actions.

“These tragic events would not have happened if you had displayed even a minimal amount of care for a tender, young girl.” Donnelly was at his Hulme St home in Palmerston North looking after Cash, one of her sisters, and his own two daughters while Cash’s mother Ngamiri McKinnon was at work.

Donnelly had stayed up until 4.30am the night before, playing PlayStation and smoking cannabis. He smoked more cannabis when he woke up that day. During his trial, Donnelly said he put Cash into a time-out after finding the toilet roll, but she squealed, saying she had wet her pants. Donnelly slapped her across the face and told her to take a shower.

Afterwards, Cash told Donnelly she did not have to take orders from him, so Donnelly took her by her ankles and swung her around. Crown Prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk said Donnelly’s sentence should send strong message of deterrence to the community, that children should not be treated this way.

Donnelly’s lawyer Lorraine Smith said her client did not disagree with the sorrow contained in any of the victim impact statements, because they reflected how he felt about the incident. Justice MacKenzie did not impose a minimum term without parole.

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