13 Feb 2009

William Curtis jailed for Nia Glassie assault

4:10 pm on 13 February 2009

The father of the two men who murdered Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie has been jailed for four years for assaulting her in the months before her killing.

William Curtis, 50, was found guilty on eight charges of assault by a jury at the Rotorua District Court last December.

The main charge related to strangling the three-year-old girl with a scarf until her face turned purple. Curtis continues to deny all eight charges.

Judge Phillip Cooper said there were no mitigating factors to balance against the age and vulnerability of the victim, who was entitled to be nurtured.

He said Curtis was in the position of step-grandfather to Nia Glassie, but violently abused her in his home in early 2007.

The offences took place in the four months leading up to Nia Glassie's murder by Wiremu and Michael Curtis in July 2007. The brothers are serving life sentences.