Not guilty plea in burqa assault case

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 15:01 09/01/2014

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A South Auckland man has pleaded not guilty to beating his daughter who was allegedly told to hide her injuries beneath a burqa.

The 44-year-old man appeared in the Manukau District Court today charged with hitting the 15-year-old girl with an umbrella, breaking her nose, breaking a tooth with a stick, and preventing her from leaving the family home by nailing the door shut.

Judge Claire Ryan ordered continued name suppression to protect the girl's identity.

The man, assisted by an interpreter, pleaded not guilty to the three charges.

Several women and children, including a woman in a niqab (head-dress leaving only the eyes exposed), were in the public gallery and waved to the man when he was brought up from the cells.

The judge questioned the wisdom of having potential witnesses in court and said it was "inappropriate for children to be here".

The abuse allegedly occurred in August and September of last year.

Police reportedly became involved after being contacted by a concerned school friend of the girl.

The girl was allegedly told to cover up with a burqa when police visited.

The man was remanded in custody to a hearing in March.

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