Foster parents face trial for abuse
A family accused of scrubbing the bodies and teeth of foster children in their care with a wire brush will go on trial next year.
Andrew John Hemara, 53, Jenny-Lee Hemara, 49, and their 21-year-old daughter Tamara Lee Hemara face 38 charges relating to the abuse of children between the ages of seven and 14 between 2004 and 2010.
All three were granted bail in the Auckland District Court today until they go on trial in February.
It is alleged the Wellsford couple, who have been approved caregivers since 2001, scrubbed the bodies and teeth of their foster children with a wire brush, made them run around a racecourse until they became sick, chained them together and forced them to sleep outside without blankets.
The alleged abuse was uncovered in September last year when one of the boys "made a disclosure" to a social worker during a routine visit.
Police were called and the children were removed from the Hemaras' care and placed with new caregivers.
Andrew Hemara, a youth worker, faced 17 charges including allegedly ripping an earring from one boy's ear and forcing his hand into a fire until it burned.
His wife is charged with repeatedly punching and kicking a boy while their daughter is facing 10 charges of assault and three charges of wilful ill-treatment.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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