Boy tells court he lied about bruises

Timaru Herald 08/07/2011

A Timaru primary school-aged boy whose father is accused of assaulting him with a belt said he lied to police about how he got bruises on his legs. Giving evidence via a video link in the Timaru District Court yesterday, the seven-year-old told the court his teacher told him to say his father hit him. Earlier, the court, presided over by Judge Joanna Maze, was shown a recorded police interview of the boy in which he told an officer he and his five-year-old brother were hit by their father because they were jumping up and down on their beds. The incident was alleged to have occurred on October 27 last year. His school, the police and health professionals became involved when he showed a teacher aide two bruises on his legs. In the recorded interview the boy said his teacher kept asking him if anything had made him go quiet and a day later he told her his father hit him. However, when questioned by police prosecutor Sergeant Mike Wingfield yesterday, the boy said part of what he said was not true. He said the bruises were caused by his brother, who had thrown a clay cat and a toy dinosaur at him, and when he had jumped onto his brother’s bed. He said he told a teacher aide because she asked him for news from home, and said he told her the bruises were caused by his brother. Yesterday, when asked if the boy had said his brother caused the bruises, the teacher aide said no. Following his conversation with the teacher aide, his teacher spoke to him and he said he told her his brother had caused the bruises. The teacher said his brother could not have done it, and it must have been his father, he said. “I had to say daddy hit me or she would just put my name on the board or she would bench me.” The boy also said he was scared his brother would go to jail.
Judge drops abuse charge
Timaru Herald 09/07/2011