'I don't hurt my children' - mother of toddler who died with 59 injuries denies hitting son

The mother of 15-month-old Ihaka Stokes has been asked by her ex-partner's lawyer if she killed her own son.

The jury was told the accused Troy Taylor inflicted 59 injuries on the 15-month-oled leading to his death in July 2015. Source: 1 NEWS

Lawyer Phil Shamy is defending 23-year-old Troy Kevin Taylor in the High Court in Christchurch.

He denies assaulting and murdering the child in July 2015 by inflicting 59 serious injuries including multiple fractures and a brain bleed.

Mr Shamy asked Ms Stokes if she harmed her son: "Did you kill this boy?"

She said she didn't.

"I don't hurt my children, I never hit him."

The defence says Ms Stokes inflicted the injuries on her son in the three hours she was alone with him in the afternoon on the day he died.

However, the Crown says Taylor "lost it" and fatally injured the little boy during the night because he was sleep deprived and suffering headaches due to a concussion.

Mr Shamy says his client Troy Taylor will give evidence that when he returned to the house, and later lay in the cot with Ihaka, he was already unwell.

"Troy will say Ihaka was floppy and his breathing was raspy at that stage."

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Ms Stokes said Ihaka was fine and his breathing was often raspy due to bronchitis.

She is still giving evidence.


Earlier, the court heard Ms Stokes, heavily pregnant to Ihaka's father Cameron Allen, had moved in with Taylor just three months before her son died. The little boy called him "dad".

Taylor was wiping his eyes with tissues as Ms Stokes recounted the events of the Friday night that her son died in July 2015.

The jury was played the seven-minute 111 call Taylor made after waking Ms Stokes and telling her he had gone to check on Ihaka to find he wasn't breathing.

Taylor told the call taker: "My son's stopped breathing, we need an ambulance now".

Ms Stokes 21, is emotional in the background of the recording and is heard saying "he is bleeding from his mouth".

The child died just an hour later in hospital.

Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh asked Ms Stokes about being interviewed by police at the hospital, and whether she was aware of her son's injuries.

He detailed the 59 different injuries inflicted on Ihaka, and asked her: "The scapular injuries, what caused those would have required significant force, blunt force, did you do anything like that?"

Through tears she replied "no".

Under cross examination, she agreed with Mr Shamy that Taylor adored Ihaka and Ihaka adored him.

The trial continues.