Print this page

Never a chance to say goodbye

Tuesday September 17, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Scorpfield Robert Exham Wichman Anthony’s great-grandparents Te Take Robati and Teokotai Robati at his headstone and that of his grandmother Temarii. 19091606 Scorpfield Robert Exham Wichman Anthony’s great-grandparents Te Take Robati and Teokotai Robati at his headstone and that of his grandmother Temarii. 19091606

Scorpfield Wichman Anthony’s great-grandparents remember the boy they never had the chance to say goodbye to. 

Their little boy loved the beach. He would, if he could, spend the days swimming and fishing near where he grew up in Betela, Arorangi.

Those are some of the happy memories that Te Take Robati and Teokotai Robati have of their quiet great-grandson, Scorpfield Robert Exham Wichman Anthony.

At the age of nine, Scorpfield was wrenched from their lives. He suffered injuries inflicted by his maternal grandfather while living in his care on Aitutaki.

The first they had heard of Scorpfield’s death was from a telephone call from the police; then his body was flown to Rarotonga for an autopsy.

When they learned of the abuse he had suffered, the family felt helpless and deeply saddened.

His death devastated his family, and the country.

READ MORE:

Editorial: Don’t let inmates come out angry

Name secrecy ends in manslaughter case

Editorial: Don’t let inmates come out angry

Editorial: Honouring the voice of the child

*‘Forgiveness cannot be given too freely’

Concerns at work release for prisoner

Long road to forgiveness for convicted killer

The Robatis – Mama Toti and Papa Moi – are still suffering today, they say. “The hurt is still there.”

They had helped raise Scorpfield at the family home near the beach, since he was a baby.

Mama Toti’s daughter was the late Temarii Yvonne Wichman, nee Anthony Fortes. She had a heart illness, so flew to New Zealand to give birth to a baby girl, Joan.

They lived in Rarotonga, where Joan grew up away from her father, the absentee Ngaa Taria.

Her son Scorpfield was born in Raro and, when he was aged about five, she and Scorpfield moved to New Zealand. He had just turned nine when he made the trip to Aitutaki to stay awhile with his grandfather Ngaa and his wife.

The Robatis never had a chance to say goodbye.

They are unhappy that the man who killed him is now allowed out on work release, back in the tourism industry where he previously worked.

“Not even a year has he been in prison,” Mama Toti says, “and he is out in public doing part time work, and for himself. What is going on?

“He doesn’t seem to behave like he is sorry for what he has done, it’s like he is laughing at the court, at everyone. He killed my great grandson and doesn’t seem to be sorry.

“We are angry he has not served his time.”

Schofield died, in a home where he was meant to be loved and taken care of. He is buried back in Rarotonga at the family house in Betela, in a grave above his grandmother Temarii. Their unveiling ceremonies were held in January.

“The pain is always there”, Mama Toti sighs.

“And now I’m angry again, there is no justice in our system, when the man who