TVNZ News 4 Nov 2011
A man has pleaded guilty to two child abuse charges in a high profile case in West Auckland that shocked New Zealanders. The man entered guilty pleas to representative charges of neglect/cruelty of a child, and a representative charge of assault on a child when he appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday. He remains on bail and sentencing is to take place on December 20. The maximum penalty for neglect of a child is five years imprisonment, while the maximum penalty for assault on a child is two years imprisonment. The man’s wife earlier pleaded guilty to 25 child abuse charges.
Call for release of inquiry findings
Meanwhile, Family First is calling on the Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett to release the findings of the independent ministerial inquiry into the case. Family First National Director Bob McCoskrie says “the excuse” for not releasing the report earlier was that the case was still in progress. With the guilty pleas of both parents, the Government can now release the report, and should do so immediately, he said. McCoskrie said Family First believes the report will show shortfalls in collaboration and information sharing between government-funded agencies, an insufficient response when there were so many “red flags”, limited resources, and failings in targeting at-risk families and “rotten” parents , McCoskrie said.
Father who tormented 9-year-old pleads guilty
NZ Herald 5 Nov 2011
The father of a west Auckland girl found hiding in a cupboard after being subjected to months of torture and abuse has pleaded guilty to his part in her horrific ordeal… As a result of the case Social Development Minister Paula Bennett demanded a review and report on the girl’s care. That report has been presented to Ms Bennett, but she has yet to release the findings. She could not comment yesterday, saying it was inappropriate to speak about the case until after the girl’s parents had been sentenced. But advocacy group Family First wanted the report made public. “The excuse for not releasing the report earlier was that the case was still in progress. With the guilty pleas of both parents, the Government can now release the report, and they should do so immediately,” said national director Bob McCoskrie. Mr McCoskrie said the fact that the girl’s family had been involved with CYF, a family support agency, a registered ACC counsellor, a court-appointed psychologist, the child’s court-appointed lawyer and a child and youth mental health service was “ample proof that the ‘bottom-of-the-cliff’ approach” was not working.