24 Jul 2009

Liar felt she needed to go to extreme lengths - CYF

4:10 pm on 24 July 2009

Child, Youth and Family says a young woman who admitted lying about being abused by her father felt she needed to go to extreme lengths to get out of the situation she saw herself in.

The father and his partner had been facing 16 charges at the High Court in Auckland, but the trial was abandoned on Thursday after the daughter retracted most of her statement to police.

The Crown has amended the charges and the couple has pleaded guilty to one charge each of neglect and the man admitting four of assault.

CYF says it had been working for a long time to address complex issues the family struggled with.

However, the agency acknowledges there were perhaps things it could have done different.

Criminal barrister Gary Gotlieb says New Zealand's legal system puts pressure on child witnesses to make statements.

He told Morning Report that children face strong pressure to make a statement and the legal system often brings out the truth.