Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is a NZME. News Service journalist based in Auckland.

Police appalled 9-year-old was supplied alcohol

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Police say they are appalled that adults supplied a young boy with alcohol and even more concerned he was re-victimised when footage of his antics was posted on YouTube.

Police went to the Fairfield skate park on Clarkin Road yesterday at 6pm after receiving several calls from concerned members of the public about a drunk nine-year-old boy, said area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls.

A video, posted on youtube last night, shows the intoxicated boy slumped against a wall at the skate park.

Police told a press conference today the boy had drunk eight cans of seven per cent Cody's RTD bourbon and cola and two shots.

By the time police arrived at the park the boy had scootered home where they spoke with his understandably distraught mother, Mr Nicholls said.

He was appalled by the incident and said an investigation was underway into the adults who supplied the boy with alcohol.

"I see the drunken activities of adults who one would think could make good choices in life."

"But to have a vulnerable young boy consuming alcohol is very appalling."

The person shooting the video can be heard saying "what are you doing ?" before getting the reply "he's drinking G, he's allowed".

In the video, the person recording the incident says "he's like eight you dumb b****, he could die" before the boy tries to ride off on his scooter.

The young boy, who said an aunt gave him the alcohol and also revealed his name, later boasted "I do smoke weed" before he becomes agitated and tells the person shooting the video to "f*** off".

A man claiming to be the little boy's brother says "bro, it's all good ... I've been drinking since the age of nine".

The boy's father, who APNZ has not named, was shocked when he was told about the video today.

"My heart is ripping out at the moment, I'm trying to hold it together. It's hard," he said.

The boy, who turned 9 recently, had been in his mother's custody after the couple separated about a year ago.

"I haven't seen my boys in that long, you know, and to have somebody ring me up stating that they've seen my son on YouTube wasted as f***, as it says on there - to me, that's an unfit mother, right there."

The father said he had previously gone to police after another son, aged 11, turned up at his house with a bruise on his leg.

The boy was taken back into his mother's care the next day.

The man said Child, Youth and Family had been involved in that incident.

"What I want to do is get my sons out of that situation where they're allowed to drink and smoke dope," he said.

"My next steps are trying to get hold of someone who can help me out. I want to go to the police, but what are the police going to do, if they sent me son home that's being abused? You know, what are they going to do with this one?"

Mr Nicholls said the boy was not related to the "aunty" and the man was not his brother. He described the boy's home life as stable and caring, but CYF had been contacted to provide any support the family may need.

He said police were considering charges under the sale of alcohol act, but "the spirit of the legislation around the supplying of alcohol to minors never envisaged an adult supplying alcohol to a 9-year-old child."

"If our actions are draconian, that's where it will rest."

Mr Nicholls said while there was no culpability on the part of the man who posted the footage, he pleaded with him to remove it from YouTube, as the footage violated the privacy of the young, vulnerable boy.

The boy was seen holding alcohol in the video.
The boy was seen holding alcohol in the video.

The man who shot and posted the video to YouTube, scooter rider Bradley Goudie, 18, said there was little point to removing the footage now.

"... all of the news media has already exposed it so widely anyway, so there's not really much point in trying to hide the video anymore."

Mr Goudie said he posted the video online because he wanted to highlight the issue.

"It is the first time I've seen anyone so intoxicated," he said.

"Basically I was just concerned about his safety because he was trying to hop on his scooter and ride around the bowl. And alcohol and physical activity do not mix - especially when you're only 9-years-old."

Mr Goudie said there needed to be security and regulation at skate parks that saw this kind of behaviour.

"I've seen people boosting up and down the pipe with motorbikes, and people smoking drugs and stuff behind the buildings, stuff like that, tagging, all the time," Mr Goudie said.

"Cameras, police visits - anything like that could hopefully help [that] kind of behaviour and maybe decrease it to some certain level."

- APNZ

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