The Masterton mother accused of handing a gun to her 9-year-old daughter after an abuse claim has been allowed to visit the girl while she awaits her next court appearance.
The woman and her partner allegedly handed the girl a rifle and ordered her to shoot the man after the girl claimed she had been abused by him.
The girl, in tears, refused. She is now staying with her maternal grandparents elsewhere in Wairarapa, along with a sibling.
The accused, whose names are suppressed, appeared separately at Masterton District Court yesterday. They are charged with child cruelty and unlawful possession of a firearm, with the man also accused of indecent assault.
Neither entered pleas but the man's lawyer, Louise Elder, said her client would deny the charges.
Speaking to the girl's mother, Judge Tony Walsh said the charges were serious, but agreed to allow her to visit her daughter under close supervision.
"What is alleged to have happened ... would have been a very frightening, traumatic event for a young child.
"I don't know the truth of the allegations yet, but what is important is that there's no discussion of what took place."
The alleged event could have inflicted emotional damage on the girl, and under no circumstances was any pressure to be put on her during the visits, he said.
"It's important the whanau protects this little one."
Police say the girl approached her mother earlier this year and said the man had inappropriately touched her. Her mother did not believe her.
The mother and her partner then handed a gun to the girl, taunting her and telling her to shoot the man if her claims were true. The pair will reappear in court next month.
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