Murder trial vacated: Mother on trial for killing toddler cuts off monitoring bracelet and is on the run

A mother who was to stand trial this week for the murder of her toddler has cut off her electronic monitoring bracelet and is on the run.

Southern Thompson is accused of killing Comfort Joy Thompson-Pene between July 20 and July 23, 2018 at Tirau.

She faces four charges in total, including murder, injuring the child with intent to injure and two charges of ill-treating a child.

The 18-month-old died in Waikato Hospital on July 24, 2018.

Thompson was to stand trial in the High Court at Rotorua this week. The trial was to start on Tuesday but has been delayed every day until today.

Justice Tracey Walker told the jury panel this morning they were no longer required.

She advised the court Thompson had cut off her electronic monitoring and was now being sought by police.

She said while some jury trials could proceed without defendants, this was not one of them and she vacated the trial. She said a new trial date would be set once Thompson was found.

“And she will be located,” Justice Walker told the jury panel.

Crown Solicitor Amanda Gordon said after the court hearing Thompson’s bracelet had been removed on Thursday night last week.

She said it was frustrating when trials were put off as it cost a lot. She said in this case there were several expert medical witnesses who had “put their lives on hold” by cancelling clinics to be in court this week.

Thompson was charged with the toddler’s murder in November 2019.

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