Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Counselling for nun who broke girl's arm

Anger management order part of sentence for assault at Sunday school.

Leva-i-Fangalupe Fono must do 300 hours of community service and pay her victim $500. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Leva-i-Fangalupe Fono must do 300 hours of community service and pay her victim $500. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A Catholic nun has been ordered to undergo anger management counselling after breaking a child's arm when the 9-year-old did not follow instructions at Sunday school.

Leva-i-Fangalupe Fono, known as Sister Leva, was also sentenced in Auckland District Court this week to 300 hours of community work, 12 months of supervision and ordered to pay the victim $500 in reparation.

Fono initially denied a charge of assault on a child and injuring the girl with reckless disregard.

But during a jury trial before Judge Heemi Taumaunu the charges were amended and she pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on a child.

Crown prosecutor Michael Walker told the court that Sister Leva was one of the teachers leading a group practice of an action song at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Panmure in April last year.

Sister Leva began yelling at the 9-year-old girl, telling her she was doing the actions incorrectly.

"She went up to her and flicked her in the side of the head, causing her to feel dizzy," Walker said.

"She then twisted her arm up behind her back and the girl heard a click in her shoulder and neck."

The next day the girl's mother took her to hospital. where the fracture was discovered.

A church source said Sister Fono, who was from Tonga, was not a fulltime staff member and no longer worked at the church.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf01 at 20 Dec 2014 11:50:40 Processing Time: 515ms