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Grandma wants answers over baby's death

Published: 9:00AM Thursday May 05, 2011 Source: ONE News

The grandmother of a six-month-old baby girl who died a violent death is calling for someone to tell police what happened.

Ngaruawahia girl Serenity Scott-Dinnington died in Auckland's Starship Hospital from a traumatic brain injury last week. Her life support had been turned off.

Serenity's mother Chelsea Scott, her fiance Mathew Ellery, her four-year-old son, Travis, and brother Drew, 17, were home at the time.

Grandmother Celeste Scott said she is clinging to the memory of her only granddaughter and desperately wants answers.

"It's easy for everybody to say 'wasn't me, was him, was her,'" she told ONE News.

Celeste hasn't spoken to her daughter Chelsea since they had a fight a few months ago.

"I want her to know that I love her to bits and I miss her badly. I wish like heck I could have my grandchildren well and back," said Celeste.

A community meeting was held this afternoon to discuss child abuse in Ngaruawahia.

The meeting  was called after the violent death last week of a six month old baby in the area.

Police are investigating the death and Celeste has criticised neighbours for not acting before the baby girl died.

However, the neighbour who called today's meeting had her fence tagged Nark after calling publicly for more community responsibility.

The neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Cheree, told ONE News she organised the hui so the community can figure out how to prevent child deaths at the hands of caregivers.

"I believe there should be some accountability for a baby's death. It takes a community to raise a child - this community will show we can keep raising children."

Cheree said that she is determined to show that family violence would not be accepted by the community. She said her fence was tagged after she spoke to reporters and police.

"I was a little scared at first but if anything it's made me feel stronger."

Cherie has given a statement to police and is now pulling the community together to talk.

Police investigating the death say Serenity's injuries were not accidental.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Greene said provisional post-mortem results showed Serenity had died from brain injuries.

"I would stress at this stage that the post-mortem results are only provisional, but they give us some idea as to what sort of injuries she suffered during what was obviously a very violent death," Greene said.

Earlier in the week family said they were told by medical staff that police believed the little girl's injuries were similar to shaken baby syndrome.

Serenity's grandmother told ONE News she hopes the baby's case does not end up like that of the Kahui twins - with no one held accountable.

Police are speaking to family and neighbours, going door-to-door in the neighbourhood and they said they have already received useful information.  

"Someone must know how this child died and we are appealing to those people to come forward and talk to us" said Greene.

Anyone with information on the death of Serenity can call 0800 YOUR HELP (0800 9687 4357)