Home > Abuse, Bad Boyfriend, Child Abuse, Killing > JJ murder accused appears in court.

JJ murder accused appears in court.

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Joel Loffley, accused murderer

Joel Loffley, 29, unemployed, of Mangere, has appeared in court charged with the murder of 2-year-old James Joseph Ruhe Lawrence, who died as a result of blunt-force trauma to his abdomen.

Man in court accused of toddler’s murder.

A man has appeared in court accused of murdering two-year-old JJ Lawrence. Joel Loffley, 29, unemployed, of Mangere, appeared before Judge Tony Fitzgerald in the Auckland District Court this morning.

He is understood to have been the boyfriend of JJ’s mother, Josephine Lawrence. He stood quietly in the dock wearing nothing but a prison-issue padded tunic.

Applications to photograph him were denied. A relative of JJ’s father, James Ruhe, who is currently in prison, said “it was only a matter of time” before an arrest was made in the case.

“I’m sure they’ll (JJ’s family) be relieved by this,” Turei Ruhe said. Police allege Loffley murdered James Joseph Ruhe Lawrence, known as JJ, at his home in suburban Orakei on November 14.

Police have said he suffered blunt-force trauma to his abdomen that caused severe damage to his internal organs. They said there were four adults and three children, including JJ, in the house when he was killed.

Police initially said accounts of what happened to JJ varied and were not consistent with autopsy results. Child Youth and Family also revealed that JJ was on its radar in the weeks before his death, but that it could not find him.

“Baby James first came to Child, Youth and Family’s notice four weeks ago,” CYF northern regional director Grant Bennett said after the child’s death.
“We consulted with other agencies, visited the home several times and were actively attempting to find mother and child. Despite this, we had been unable to speak with his mother or sight James to check on his wellbeing.”

Neither James nor his mother was previously known to the agency, he said. “We are continuing to work closely with police and support them [in] their investigation.”

Two other infants staying at the Orakei house have since been taken into Child, Youth and Family care. Loffley was remanded in custody to a further hearing on January 18.

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