Man who killed baby stepson sentenced to 14-year jail term

William Wakefield will not be eligible for parole for 14 years and nine months, a judge announced at his sentencing in the High Court. - Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

An Upper Hutt man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his baby stepson.

William Wakefield, 32, was found guilty by a jury of murdering 5-month-old Lincoln Wakefield, who died on 12 June last year after being shaken violently.

At sentencing at the High Court in Wellington, Justice Dobson said Wakefield would not be eligible for parole for at least 14 years and nine months.

Justice Dobson said the baby was vulnerable and helpless.

However, he accepted Wakefield was remorseful and had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter which Justice Dobson considered as mitigating factors.

Justice Dobson said baby killings by non-biological fathers happened far too often and were a blight on the way we lived, and they should not happen in a caring society.