Boys accuse uncle of beating them till blood flowed
A King Country man is on trial for assaulting his two nephews, the prosecution alleging he made his dog bite his 8-year-old nephew's hand and that he repeatedly hit the boy so hard that he drew blood.
The 48-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges, saying the accusations are lies.
Yesterday at the Hamilton District Court, Crown prosecutor Rebecca Mann told the jury the alleged incidents occurred on four separate occasions over a 12-month period in 2012.
Ms Mann said the boys were aged 7 and 8 when they were placed by Child, Youth and Family in the care of their uncle and aunt.
The older boy, now 11, would testify their uncle hit him and his brother a number of times, either with black hosing or punches, she said.
He would also tell the jury that his uncle hit his younger brother so hard with the black hosing on his bottom that it started bleeding.
The 11-year-old also accused his uncle of punching him repeatedly before holding him down in the bath, trying to drown him, while their aunt tried to intervene.
He also alleged that one time he was beaten so bad he was left with a bleeding nose and puffy eyes, with one so swollen that he could not see out of it, Ms Mann said.
The younger brother, now 10 years old, would testify about being hit repeatedly on the bottom with the hose until he bled and his uncle making his dog bite the boy's hand so hard that it caused a puncture wound and a scar which was still visible.
Ms Mann said the uncle made the dog the responsibility of the boys, so he used the dog as a form of punishment.
A teacher ended up asking one of the boys about their injuries before informing police.
But the man's lawyer, Joe Hamblett, described the boys as "unruly children".
"He did his best to raise them. As far as the charges go, he says: No I was not violent, I didn't do those things. The boys are incorrigible liars. They are motivated to lie about their uncle and about lots of things in actual fact.
"The boys are rough boys, they live rough lives and fight with other people, and sustained the injuries in that manner." Mr Hamblett said the oldest boy also attended boxing classes.
The boys' motivation for lying, Mr Hamblett said, was because they missed their mother as she stopped visiting them and they took umbrage with their uncle's discipline, which included taking away their privileges.
As a poor case of "reverse psychology", the uncle told the boys that if they wanted to get away from him, they should complain about him to police and he would go to jail.
- © Fairfax NZ News