Nun accused of assault told teacher: 'It was me'

By Edward Gay

The fact Leva-i-Fangalupe Fono is a nun is completely irrelevant, the court was told. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The fact Leva-i-Fangalupe Fono is a nun is completely irrelevant, the court was told. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A nun accused of breaking a 9-year-old's arm told a Sunday School teacher "it was me'', a court has been told.

The Crown says Leva-i-Fangalupe Fono - known as Sister Leva - yelled at the girl, flicked her in the head and twisted her arm, breaking it, at Sunday School at St Patrick's, Panmure, in April last year.

Sister Leva has denied charges of assault and injuring with intent to injure the girl.

Otahuhu College teacher Kolotita Taimani, who also teaches Sunday School at the church, told sister Leva's trial in Auckland District Court today she was helping taking kids through an action song for upcoming celebrations.

She told the court she was about to begin the lesson when she noticed one of the girls crying.

She asked what was wrong and Sister Leva told her ``it was me''.

Ms Taimani said she did not see what had happened but told the girl to sit down and she was looked after by other adults.

Under cross-examination from Sister Leva's lawyer Andrew Comeskey, Ms Taimani said Sister Leva also told her that she was trying to put the girl's arm in the correct position for the action song.

Ms Taimani said that when she heard about the girl's injury the following day, she organised a meeting and visited the girl and her family.

``I said to the dad, I'm very sorry to hear what happened yesterday.''

Earlier the court heard from the girl's mother who said she only learnt of her daughter's injury the day after the incident.

``We all know when our children are taken to school or if someone is injured at school - whether a little girl or little boy - the parents must be told what happened.

``But when I went to pick up my children no one from the Sunday School came to me, either Sister Leva who caused my little girl to cry - none of them.''

She said she felt ``so bad and disappointed''.

Under further questioning she said she could not remember if she learnt of her daughter's injury on the Sunday or the following day when her daughter complained of pain.

A specialist in children's X-ray, Dr David Perry, showed the jurors X-rays of the girl's arm.

The doctor from Auckland's Starship hospital said the arm break was known as a buckle fracture and said it could be compared to a bent drinking straw.

The trial is due to finish on Friday.


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