NZ Herald 27 Mar 2013
The grandmother of a toddler who suffered life-threatening hypothermia after his Child Youth and Family caregivers subjected him to cold showers wants to take legal action against the organisation. The grandmother, from Morrinsville, said CYF needed to be held accountable for her 2-year-old grandson’s injuries, alongside his abusers. Eunice Towns, 42 and her husband Stephen Towns, 52 were sentenced in Tauranga District Court yesterday on assault charges. Both admitted abusing the boy over a five-week period during April and May last year, using excessive force when disciplining the toddler. The boy’s grandmother, who cannot be identified, said today she was “devastated” when she heard what had happened to the little boy. “I want to take action against CYF myself, but I haven’t seen a lawyer yet.” She said it wasn’t just the CYF case worker who was at fault, but the entire organisation. “Someone’s got to be responsible.
“They took the boy off his mother because she couldn’t care and protect him and they’ve sent him to people who (also couldn’t protect him).” The boy was sent to the Towns’ home in Whakatane from Hamilton. The grandmother said she did not know why he had to be sent so far away when other family members had offered to look after him.