Child suffers severe burns in alleged assault

The man charged with assaulting a 3-year-old in West Otago on Wednesday night will appear in court next month.

The 23-year-old man will appear in the Gore District Court on September 17, charged with assaulting the boy, who was seriously injured. Dunedin police are investigating.

St John Ambulance communications advisor Ian Henderson said the organisation did not receive an emergency call about the incident, but were asked to transfer a young male patient with severe burns to his body to Dunedin Hospital at 4.50pm.

They dispatched the Otago Rescue Helicopter to the West Otago Health Centre and flew the patient to Dunedin. He would have arrived by 7pm, Henderson said.

Dunedin police said the boy remains in Dunedin Hospital.

Staff at the West Otago Health Centre were moving to new premises today and were unable to be contacted.

A call to an on-duty nurse was answered by an answering service and calls were not returned.