Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Mother to defend boiling water charge

Police believe the toddler's injuries were inflicted around November or December last year. Photo / File / Thinkstock
Police believe the toddler's injuries were inflicted around November or December last year. Photo / File / Thinkstock

A mother accused of immersing her two-year-old son's hands in boiling water then failing to seek medical treatment for at least eight months will defend the charge.

The woman was granted interim name suppression when she appeared in Porirua District Court today.

Her lawyer, Greg Gimblett, argued for continuing suppression until her first callover to ensure her and her family's safety.

The woman stood quietly in the dock during this morning's proceedings.

She faces two charges of cruelty and ill-treatment of a child, and one of wounding with reckless disregard causing grievous bodily harm.

Police believe the toddler's injuries were inflicted around November or December last year "by way of full immersion of his hands into boiling water".

Despite the boy's horrific injuries, no proper medical attention was provided until child protection agencies became involved by chance in August this year, it is alleged.

It was understood the toddler suffered severe burns and deformities, which even senior police and medical experts have found disturbing.

The burns extended to the boy's mid-wrists and he will need extensive skin-graft surgery for the wounds.

Wellington district child protection team manager Detective Senior Sergeant Neil Holden said he had seen photos of the injuries, which would have been "extremely painful".

The abuse was alleged to have occurred at the family's Porirua East home.

The mother denies inflicting the injuries and told police the boy's wounds were accidental. She was arrested on September 6 but is free on bail and will reappear later this month.

Both the boy and his sibling have been removed from the mother's custody and placed into Child, Youth and Family care.

- APNZ

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