Story: Childhood

Child manslaughter

Child manslaughter

In 1902 Ōtaki girl Dorothy Drake (aged 8) died after her mother beat her severely with a whip. During her trial for manslaughter, Mrs Drake said she beat Dorothy to correct her behaviour and that the force used was reasonable. This defence was not accepted. She was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in jail with hard labour.

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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Bush Advocate, 30 June 1902, p. 2

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Childhood - Child discipline and justice', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 May 2022)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 12 Dec 2018