Hammer abuse case: Auckland pair arrested over alleged attacks on young girls

WARNING: This story contains descriptions and language associated with child sex offending.

An Auckland couple has been arrested on numerous charges of historic child abuse, including allegations young girls were attacked with a hammer, a toy train, a broom and a wooden spoon on separate occasions.

In addition to the physical abuse allegations, which date back as far as 2009, authorities also allege one of the children was repeatedly sexually abused dating back to 2012.

A 60-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman made separate appearances at Auckland District Court today via audio-visual feed.

Throughout her hearing, the woman dabbed her nose and eyes to the chest of her tear-stained T-shirt. The man, who wore a long-sleeve shirt and high-vis vest, sat stoically with his arms folded across his chest for most of the hearing.

Judge Anna Skellern granted each of their requests for interim name suppression.

Both were remanded into custody without bail until hearings set for next week. They have not yet entered pleas. An interpreter has been requested for the hearings.

“Police have laid a significant number of charges against a man and a woman relating to historical offending against a young person,” a police spokesperson confirmed today. “These charges relate to negligent acts, assault and sexual assault.”

The spokesperson declined further comment on the case because it is now before the court.

Both defendants were arrested yesterday on one current charge – that they left a child under the age of 14 without supervision for an unreasonable amount of time this week. It carries a maximum possible punishment of a $2000 fine.

But police also charged the woman with five historic allegations, including that she failed to protect a child from being assaulted with a toy train between 2012 and 2017. She is also accused of two counts of failing to protect another girl who she knew to be at risk of sexual assault between 2015 and 2016 and between 2012 and 2018.

Additionally, the woman is accused of failing in 2014 to protect the same girl at risk of sexual assault from being assaulted with a hammer, and of wounding the same girl herself in 2019.

The wounding charge is the most serious. If convicted, she could face up to 14 years in prison.

The male defendant, meanwhile, has been charged with 15 alleged crimes, including six counts of assaulting or injuring one of the children between 2010 and 2018 and an additional count of injuring the other child.

The child who he is accused of having focused the brunt of his aggression on is also the focus of eight counts in which the man is accused of molestation.

He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of sexual violation.

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