Woman charged with murder of 4-year-old


Maggie Renee Watson
Maggie Renee Watson

A woman charged with the murder of an Auckland 4-year-old has been declined bail.

Maggie Renee Watson was found dead in the early hours of August 7 in the Onehunga house she shared with her mother.

A 44-year-old woman appeared in Auckland District Court yesterday afternoon where Judge David Sharp rejected her bail bid after submissions from her lawyer, Stephen Bonnar, QC.

The judge, however, granted interim name suppression until her next appearance in the High Court at Auckland next month.

All details of the bail hearing were also suppressed.

Police were initially unable to say whether Maggie died in suspicious circumstances after the original post-mortem failed to provide clear answers.

A second autopsy was completed days later and the results led police to believe the child's death was not accidental.

Maggie was born in New Zealand, but her mother is Malaysian and her father is British. He no longer lives here and she had no other relatives here. Police said they were in constant contact with her grandparents who live in Malaysia and her aunt who lives in the United States.

The grandparents were dumbfounded when police informed them their inquiry had become a homicide investigation. "When we found out that Maggie didn't pass away naturally, that it was somebody who did it to her ... each step is getting more and more traumatic for us, especially my wife," grandfather Clifford Sen said.

The child had spent about 2 months visiting them with her mother in Malaysia before she died.

"They were fine here. Maggie was beautiful and had a lovely time with my wife and me," he said. "She was really good, really smart. I'll tell you she was so polite, so intelligent, so inquisitive."


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