Home > Abuse, Case Updates, Child Abuse, Killing > Godmother of ‘Popo’ charged with his murder.

Godmother of ‘Popo’ charged with his murder.

December 17, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Terepo 'Popo' Taura-Griffiths

Mariam Filihia is accused of killing Terepo ‘Popo’ Taura-Griffiths who died in early November, a week after his first birthday.

Godmother accused of murder.

A woman charged with the alleged murder of her ‘god-son’ can be named. Mariam Filihia is accused of killing Terepo ‘Popo’ Taura-Griffiths who died in early November, a week after his first birthday.

Police said he suffered from a skull fracture in the back of his head and a ‘massive’ brain bleed. Filihia, 32, was granted interim named suppression on Wednesday when her lawyer Mark Edgar argued that the media had already spoken to the baby’s family and he didn’t want his client to face “trial by media”.

On Friday in the Manukau District Court he didn’t seek to extend the suppression. He asked that media be denied access to Filihia’s court file and permission to take her photograph in court.

Edgar also asked that her bail application be heard in closed court as three rows of the baby’s extended family sat in the public gallery wearing memorial t-shirts and he feared possible “vigilante action” should bail be granted.

Judge Gus Andree-Wiltens agreed to the first two requests but denied the third, saying that open justice had to prevail. “I will not close the courtroom.”

Police opposed bail over concerns Filihia could interfere with Crown witnesses. But Judge Andree-Wiltens granted her bail under strict conditions “bearing all things in mind” before suppressing what those conditions are.

There was a heavy police and security presence in the courtroom and Filihia was flanked by two guards while in the dock. Filihia will reappear in the court for a plea inquiry hearing in January next year.

Popo’s biological grandmother Anna Taura Benioni has described him as a “chirpy, cheeky boy” who loved food, puppies, bouncing on the trampoline and a Tommie-Tippie toy he’d unwrapped days before he died.

Popo’s 27-year-old mother Terepai said she’d known Filihia and her husband for four to five years and they’d once been neighbours.

 

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  1. December 17, 2011 at 8:21 am

    This is so sad, god bless that little Angel.

  1. October 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm

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