The couple charged with neglect in relation to their 3-year-old son who police say was left with permanent brain damage after being assaulted at his home will defend the allegation at trial.

The Tauranga couple, who briefly appeared in Tauranga District Court today, have denied a joint charge of ill-treatment or neglect of a child aged under 18.

Lawyers for the couple successfully sought the continuation of the interim name suppression order until the case review hearing on May 19, which was not opposed by the Crown prosecutor.

On May 19 it is expected a judge-alone trial date will be scheduled.


The toddler, who turned three in November, was taken to Tauranga Hospital with serious head injuries on October 18, 2013 and airlifted to Starship Hospital.

Police believe the injuries occurred at the boy's family home on October 15.

No one has yet been charged with assaulting the toddler.

Name suppression for the boy's parents has been imposed to protect the identity of the boy and his siblings being disclosed.