The daycare centre manager on trial for smacking and force-feeding children had no control over herself, says another staff member.

Lynn Euphemia Abraham, 59, is defending 11 charges against nine children, all under 5, in a jury trial at the Auckland District Court this week.

The alleged offending began in 2011 and continued through until last May.

The Crown alleges Abraham, who was the centre manager, washed a 4-year-old child's mouth out with soap and put tape across the mouth of another.


She's also accused of forcing food into kids' mouths, including a 1-year-old, while six counts allege she smacked them.

Abraham denies all the charges.

This afternoon, Ines Miranda, a woman who worked at the daycare centre at the time, said she saw Abraham smack the children when she was stressed.

The smacks would happen once a fortnight but got more frequent when Abraham was more stressed from 2013 until the police became involved in April last year.

Then the smacking increased to once a week, Miranda said.

Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey asked Miranda, originally from Chile, how she knew Abraham was stressed. She said it was intuition.

"I can feel when a [person] feels very stressful, I can pick it up very easily this."

She told the court, Abraham had "no control" over herself.


Miranda recalled Abraham frequently smacking one boy on the hand a number of times, which made him cry most of the time.

She said she found Abraham's behaviour concerning "because it's not right" and spoke about it with other workers.

Miranda said she didn't raise her concerns with the owner because Abraham was her supervisor and thought "she knew what she was doing".

Under cross examination by defence lawyer Graeme Newell, Miranda said she didn't know what pre-empted the smack.

She told the court besides the smacks, there wasn't anything which concerned her about Abraham's treatment of children at the centre.

Yesterday, the jury heard from another worker, Jennifer Wong, who became emotional giving evidence about Abraham taping a girl's mouth shut because she was playing loudly outside.

"Lynn came out and says, 'Can you stop it or I'll put tape on your mouth'. "

When the girl continued to be loud, Abraham allegedly went outside and taped the girl's mouth shut.

Dickey told the jurors during his opening address that the law was clear: Force cannot be used for the purposes of correction or punishment on a child.

The trial continues and is set to finish by Friday.