19 Nov 2008

No more blind eye when children tortured - Jigsaw

6:31 am on 19 November 2008

New Zealanders are being told to stop turning a blind eye to child abuse in the wake of the Nia Glassie case.

Three people were found guilty by a jury in the High Court at Rotorua on Tuesday of inflicting fatal injuries on the child in July last year. She was aged three years.

Wiremu and Michael Curtis were found guilty of murder.

Her mother, Lisa Kuka was found guilty on two charges of manslaughter.

Two others, Oriwa Kemp and Michael Pearson, were found guilty of child cruelty.

The jury took nearly 11 hours to reach its verdicts.

The Jigsaw child protection service says testimony at the trial made it clear that neighbours were witnesses to Nia's torture.

Chief executive Tau Huirama hopes the case will prompt people to think about the safety of children and start stepping in to defend them.

The New Zealand Herald also quotes Maori community leader Hone Kaa on Wednesday as saying New Zealanders should stop turning a blind eye to child abuse and 'dob in' their neighbours.

Justice done

Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro says justice has been done in the case.

She says families close ranks and deny the harm in many serious cases of child abuse.