Children lived 'in constant fear'

Last updated 15:20 18/05/2012

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A 25-year-old Invercargill man who struck a young child with a wooden hearth brush and hit another in the face was told the victims had lived in constant fear, when he appeared in the Invercargill District Court today.

The man, who has interim name suppression, appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips on two charges of assaulting a child and assault with a weapon, namely a wooden hearth brush, between May 1 and August 9, last year. He was remanded to August 9 for sentence.

Police prosecutor sergeant Rob Mills said there were three children aged six, eight and nine.

The children were removed from the home and after a phone call to Child, Youth and Family and later interviewed, Mr Mills said.

All three children revealed historic abuse and an investigation was carried out, he said.

It was found there was a discipline strategy in the home where the children were smacked across the buttocks with the brush if they did not do as they were told, were naughty or rude, he said.

Any use of inappropriate language or swearing was dealt with by pouring dishwashing liquid into their mouths, he said.

"All three victims lived in constant fear of abuse," Mr Mills said.

The abuse had been ongoing and involved the 25-year-old man striking one of the victims in the back of the head and another on the face, both with an open hand, he said.

He struck one of them with the hearth brush on the buttocks, he said.

He denied using dishwashing liquid but admitted threatening with it, Mr Mills said.

Judge Phillips said the offending was serious and violent.

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- The Southland Times

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