A woman jailed yesterday over the horrific abuse of her 9-year-old daughter says she's not a bad mother.
The woman, who has name suppression to protect the identity of her children, had previously pleaded guilty to 25 charges. One of them was for assaulting the girl's 8-year-old brother.
The charges also included assaulting the girl with a machete and a hammer, kicking her in the crotch while wearing steel-capped workboots, tearing off her toenail and pouring salt and boiling water on the wound, and writing abusive words on the girl's body.
When sentencing the woman to seven-and-a-half years with a minimum non-parole period of five years at Auckland District Court yesterday, Judge Brooke Gibson described the events as "sustained abuse, amounting to torture''.
Before sentencing yesterday, the 31-year-old mother gave an interview to RadioLive, saying she was not a bad mother.
"I'm a bad mum for what I done to the child, but I'm not a bad mother at all,'' she said.
She said she had contacted Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and Child Youth and Family (CYF) and her councillor before the abuse was discovered saying she needed help.
"It wouldn't have come to this if the professionals...had let me have a break like I had let them know, I can't handle the behaviours [of the 9-year-old] and I'm afraid what I am about to do if they continue to happen and they should have just let me send her away for at least a couple of weeks.''
She said she could not believe it had taken Ms Bennett so long to order a report into CYF care and child abuse.
"There needs to be more support out there. There was no supports put in place.''
She said she still loved her daughter and wanted her family to be together again.
"I still think about her, I still love her and I still want her back.''
Yesterday, Ms Bennett angrily dismissed suggestions she or Prime Minister John Key could have acted to halt the abuse.
"That child was so deeply failed by those parents that were supposed to protect her,'' she said.
"So it's fine to sit back now and try to blame someone else or a government while in the meantime you are dehydrating, starving and beating your child.
"I don't stand up and take responsibility for that. She should stand up and take it herself.''