Child force-fed wasabi and mustard, court hears

Child force-fed wasabi and mustard, court hears

By GLENN McLEAN – Taranaki Daily News | Tuesday, 09 December 2008

A Taranaki real estate agent charged with serious child abuse has been accused of force feeding a child spoonfuls of wasabi and mustard.

The agent, who has interim name suppression, denied five charges of assaulting a child, as well as charges of ill treating a child and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The agent appeared in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday for a depositions hearing that is expected to finish today.

Crown prosecutor Cherie Clarke said the agent is accused of deliberately slamming a door on a child’s hand, punching a child in the head and stomach, bending her fingers back, force feeding the child mustard, the hot Japanese condiment wasabi and hand soap, as well as making the child drink perfume.

Ms Clarke said the offending was punishment for the girl after she forgot to do things like get the washing in or wipe down a bench.

After the police got involved the child was taken out of the defendant’s home.

It was after that happened the Crown says the accused put a block on the child’s cellphone and told her that it would only be unblocked if she told police or the defendant’s lawyer that she was making the accusations up.

Two child witnesses were called to give evidence yesterday.

The first, a friend of the alleged victim, told the court she had seen the accused force a teaspoon of wasabi into the mouth of the girl.

“She was trying to spit it out because it was so hot,” the witness said.

The young witness, who was giving evidence from behind a screen, also saw the accused punch her friend, slam the door on her hand, as well as forcing her to “basically do all the jobs you have to do in the house”.

The second witness, the complainant in the case, said she never told anyone about the abuse because she thought she would get teased.

She denied making the accusations up when cross-examined by defence counsel Kylie Pascoe, although she admitted running away from home and stealing money from people at school.


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