Nanny listened helplessly as child assaulted

A nanny listened helplessly outside to the sound of a six-year-old girl screaming "no mummy, no'' as her mother rained slaps on the child's back and buttocks, the Greymouth District Court heard yesterday.

Police said in court that the mother, Crystal Karyn O'Neill, 39, of Kokatahi, smacked the girl more than 10 times with such force that the welts were clearly visible when a doctor examined her four days later.

O'Neill was yesterday sentenced to nine months' supervision and ordered to attend parenting, anger management and domestic violence programmes after she admitted assaulting the child on June 25.

Police prosecutor sergeant Mark Harris said O'Neill worked nights so she had a live-in nanny, who had a 12-year-old daughter.

On the day of the incident the older girl told O'Neill that the six-year-old had drawn over some of her belongings and furniture.

When O'Neill said forcefully, "come here'', the girl ran outside yelling "no mummy, no mummy''.

O'Neill tried to catch the child but she ran back to her room, her mother following, saying to the nanny: "Don't worry if you hear a scream.''

She then turned the girl on her stomach and, ignoring the screams of "no mummy, no'', smacked her 10 times on the buttocks and hips, and once in the head.

When the nanny inspected the girl later she had a sore bottom, hips and head, and bright red hand marks were visible on her skin. The marks were still visible on a trip to the doctor four days later.

O'Neill told police it was not the first time that her daughter had been naughty. She had warned her that she had to be punished, and had only smacked her two or three times, O'Neill said.

- Greymouth Star

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