An Auckland teenager has allegedly suffered four days of shocking torture at the hands of a man more than twice her age.
A senior detective with more than 25 years' experience said it was unlike any other case he had been involved with in his career.
"It's up there with some of the worst things I've seen. They were allegedly torturous acts and that's reflected in the number and the seriousness of the charges that he faces," Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Tiernan said.
A 38-year-old South Auckland tradesman appeared in Manukau District Court this month facing 21 charges, the majority of which covered extreme violent and sexual offending against the young victim.
Court documents, though brief, give graphic depictions of the alleged abuse the girl sustained over a four-day period around Christmas.
It began on December 21, when the man allegedly smashed the girl's fingers with a hammer, breaking a bone, which required surgery.
The following days also resulted in three charges of kidnap.
On December 23, it is alleged the man covered her nose and mouth for so long it caused the blood vessels in her eyes to burst.
Charge sheets say that on the same day, he targeted her feet with the hammer and threatened to smash her head with it too.
Police believe he bound the complainant's hands and feet with rope, used cable ties on another occasion and shut her in a wardrobe on Christmas Day.
Towards the end of the ordeal, he allegedly took to the teenager's teeth with a pair of pliers, leaving them chipped and broken.
"There will be ongoing reconstructive dental work required. There is some serious damage to a number of teeth," Mr Tiernan said.
"The disfigurement will require expert work."
The allegation prompted a charge of disfiguring with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Police said the complainant had suffered severe physical and emotional hardship.
"She's had a troubled upbringing and could be classed as the most vulnerable type of victim due to her age and her background," Mr Tiernan said.
"It's not that the charges are rare, it's the nature of the charges and how they've come about."
A police investigation began after the teenager approached authorities with her mother.
The defendant was remanded in custody and will be back in court in April.