Sam Boyer

Sam Boyer is a police reporter for the NZ Herald.

Father arrested for abuse after burqa teen's injuries exposed

Police allege the girl was instructed by family members to cover up with a burqa - a covering the girl said she does not usually wear. Photo / Thinkstock
Police allege the girl was instructed by family members to cover up with a burqa - a covering the girl said she does not usually wear. Photo / Thinkstock

The father of a 15-year-old Muslim teenager has been arrested after allegedly beating and detaining her, and forcing her to hide her facial injuries beneath a burqa.

It is alleged he broke his daughter's nose with an umbrella, broke her teeth with a stick in a separate incident, and locked her in the house by nailing a door shut.

The man's partner was also arrested yesterday, when police and the armed offenders squad swooped on the family's Auckland home.

The girl's father, who cannot be named as it would identify his victim, appeared in Manukau District Court yesterday afternoon, charged with kidnapping, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and injuring with intent.

His partner was charged with failing to keep the girl safe. She will appear in court on Friday.

Other children at the property - ranging from pre-school to intermediate-school age - have been removed from their care by Child, Youth and Family.

The 15-year-old was previously removed from the adults' care and placed in "secure care" with another Muslim family.

Detective Inspector Jim Gallagher, officer in charge of Counties Manukau child abuse and sexual violence, said the girl's injuries and the alleged abuse were serious.

The armed offenders squad was included in the arrest because police anticipated hostility from the father.

However, the arrest was without incident, Mr Gallagher said.

Police claim the 15-year-old was subjected to sustained physical abuse over two or more months.

The court charges reveal the alleged abuse occurred through August and September.

The kidnapping charge faced by the father relate to the police allegation the daughter was unlawfully detained for a period after her injuries were sustained.

The alleged abuse only came to light after a school friend of the girl became worried about her whereabouts, borrowed a cellphone from another friend at a neighbouring school and called 111.

When officers visited her home, police allege the girl was instructed by family members to cover up with a burqa that left only her eyes exposed - a covering the girl told police that she would not usually wear.

The alleged abuse was known to some people in the Auckland region, who chose not to report it, police claim.

- NZ Herald

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