Severely abused 9-year-old found hiding in cupboard.
Police and social workers are appalled at the alleged abuse of a nine-year-old girl whose body was covered in bruises when she was found hiding in a wardrobe in a west Auckland house. Her parents received name suppression when they appeared in the Waitakere District Court yesterday on 36 charges of abusing the nine-year-old and another child, aged seven. They were released on bail to appear again next week.
Social workers said in court documents the nine-year-old had been abused so badly that almost every part of her body was covered in injuries, including part of her scalp torn off her head as she was dragged down the hall, the New Zealand Herald reported. She was found by police last month after they were called to her home for what is believed to have been a domestic dispute.
At hospital she was found to be starving, dehydrated and anaemic from internal bleeding. She had a broken bone in her foot and extensive bruising all over her body. Her father, 32, faced charges of assaulting her between January 2009 and November this year, using a broomstick and a vacuum pipe as weapons, and assaulting her during over eight days in November.
Her mother, 30, faced charges of injuring with intent, assault with various weapons, wilful neglect by failing to seek medical help, withholding food, and causing grievous bodily harm. She was also charged with assaulting another child, aged seven, with a table leg and an unknown weapon.
It was believed the girl was as removed from her parents by Child Youth and Family (CYF) soon after she was born and returned to them two years ago, the newspaper reported. Court documents allege the girl had been violently beaten since the beginning of 2009, sometimes with a stick.
In April this year, her mother allegedly repeatedly punched her in the face and hands. She did not get medical treatment for the girl but was believed to have gone to the doctor herself after breaking bones in both her hands during the beating. In November her father allegedly beat her with a vacuum cleaner and a broomstick.
It was alleged the child’s mother attacked her almost daily and in November used a broomstick, punched her in the face and body, bent her toenail backwards and caused grievous bodily harm with a hammer, the newspaper reported. She was also allegedly hit with a broomstick and a table leg, repeatedly punched in the face and body, and kicked in the groin with steel-capped boots.
Her toenail was allegedly torn off and salt and boiling water poured on to the bleeding wound. She was allegedly put in a hot bath and had her head held under water, was starved of food and forced to stand in the corner, sometimes naked, without moving.
Detective Sergeant Megan Goldie said police, and others associated with the inquiry, had all been affected by the girl’s injuries. The girl may need counselling for the rest of her life. CYF northern regional director Grant Bennett said staff were shocked by the “horrific abuse” and it was deeply upsetting she had been abused by the people who were caring for her.