Children fled mother to seek police help

A Central Otago woman's young children fled their home and sought shelter at a police station after their mother gave one of her daughters a bloody nose, Queenstown District Court was told yesterday.

The woman, 44, was granted interim name suppression to protect the children's identities when she appeared before Judge Michael Turner. She entered guilty pleas to charges of assault on or about August 19, assaulting a child aged 7 on a date unknown in 2010, possession of cannabis, and possession of a utensil for preparing drugs on August 26.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Ian Collin said the defendant was a mother of three - a teenage daughter, a young son and a daughter under 10.

On August 19 an argument started between the mother and the eldest daughter about cleaning the house.

The daughter, who was sitting, pulled her legs up to protect herself when the mother hit her in the face and bloodied her nose, the court was told.

All three children left the house, went to a police station to seek shelter and told police about the assault. They were then taken into care with Child, Youth and Family.

The children were interviewed by a specialist and disclosed two other assaults by the mother in the past two years. On one occasion the son was slapped around the neck and on another occasion a daughter was given a bloody nose while she was sitting in the front passenger seat of a car.

Judge Turner convicted the woman and remanded her on bail for sentence on December 3. He asked for an emotional harm report and a pre-sentence report to consider community work and home detention but said this was no indication of the outcome.

The Southland Times