Parent sorry for daughter's drunken assault on trio

By Timothy Brown of the Otago Daily Times

Recovering from a brutal bashing at the hands of a large group of teenage girls in Dunedin on Saturday night are (from left) Makayla Spiers, Annalise Cooper and Tae Flavell. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery.
Recovering from a brutal bashing at the hands of a large group of teenage girls in Dunedin on Saturday night are (from left) Makayla Spiers, Annalise Cooper and Tae Flavell. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery.

A parent of one of the teenage girls at the centre of serious assault allegations has expressed her disappointment over her daughter's actions.

The mother of one of the girls allegedly involved in an attack on three women in Cargill St told the Otago Daily Times she wanted to apologise to the three victims on behalf of her daughter.

Watch: Raw video: Drunken assault in Dunedin

Video

Tae Flavell, Annalise Cooper and Makayla Spiers were attacked by a group of girls, believed to be aged 15 and 16, on Saturday night outside Miss Flavell's Cargill St flat.

''I won't have this be what my family represents,'' the parent, who asked not to be identified, said.

''I'm so disappointed in what happened with her and her friends.

''You girls need to take a hard look at yourselves.''

She also wanted to offer an apology to the women's families and tell them that her daughter would ''be facing consequences for her actions''.

Senior Sergeant Mark Crawford said police were investigating the incident and had not laid charges.

''There's quite a few witnesses to speak to and inquiries are being made,'' he said.

He confirmed police were also investigating another allegation of assault which was possibly linked to the teenagers involved in the attack in Cargill St.

''We have had an allegation of assault at a separate party and we are investigating that,'' he said.

Read more: Trio appalled bystander filmed their attack

Miss Flavell suffered a broken ankle as a result of the attack and Miss Cooper was concussed.

Earlier on Saturday, police had been called to a disorder incident in upper Stuart St, allegedly involving a group of females who had left a large high school party in Wakari.

Michael Cooper, Miss Cooper's father, said he was shocked as he drove through Wakari to be with his daughter after the attack.

''There were large groups of what appeared to be children all over the road, .. intoxicated children being cared for by other children.

''There was glass smashed all over Stuart St. I said to my wife, 'What is going on?'''

He felt the incident that led to his daughter's concussion was just an extreme example of a culture of teenage drunkenness and violence.

''Everyone's of the same opinion. The population in town getting intoxicated is getting younger,'' he said.

His views echoed those of a parent who contacted the ODT about concerns for her own children and her children's friends.

''Parents are letting their kids go out 'til 3 o'clock in the morning,'' the woman, who asked not be identified, said.

She felt powerless to say no to her 16-year-old son as other parents were allowing it and he wanted to fit in.

Miss Spiers said she recognised the girls who attacked her friends as pupils from her former school.

When contacted, the principal of the Dunedin secondary school in question referred the ODT to Dunedin Secondary Schools' Partnership manager Gordon Wilson.

''That's the appropriate channel,'' the principal said.

Mr Wilson said the behaviour of school pupils during the weekend was ''a clear community issue''.

''As a school, we have certain responsibilities but they don't extend to what our young people do at the weekends,'' he said.

However, the partnership's 12 schools did ''their very best to make sure their young people remain safe'' when it came to alcohol abuse.

Miss Flavell said she had not received an apology from the girls she believed attacked her, but messages of support from the community had been ''great''.

- Otago Daily Times

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