Daycare worker denies taping over child's mouth


An Auckland daycare manager accused of assaulting pre-schoolers has flatly denied putting sticky tape over a child's mouth and washing another's out with soap.

Lynn Abraham faces 11 charges relating to nine children, all of whom were under five years old.

Abraham is accused of putting tape over a child's mouth, force-feeding children, smacking children and washing a child's mouth out with soap while working at Bright Minds in St John.

She began giving evidence at the Auckland District Court this afternoon.

The court heard the Bright Minds teacher allegedly taped over a child's mouth because they were being too loud.

Abraham was asked by her defence lawyer Graeme Newell about the claim, to which she replied "I didn't do it".

"A witness says she watched you take the sellotape," he said.

"I didn't do that, I can't recall exactly what I said, but I would have told her [the child] to stop being so noisy," Abraham replied.

She said she couldn't recall telling the child to be quiet or she'd tape her mouth.

The daycare manager also denied washing the inside of a child's mouth out with soap, but says she did wash the outside after he swore at another staff member.

"I did not wash his mouth out with soap. I did not put anything inside his mouth. I washed around his mouth while washing the rest of his face. I said that we were washing away the bad language."

Abraham also denied smacking a child on the bottom, and denied smacking children on the hand.

"I would tap hands or move hands away. I would not have described myself as smacking hands," she said.

In opening the defence case Abraham's lawyer referred the jury to legislation around the powers of discipline.

"Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of the child is justified in using force.

"It is justified if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances and for the purpose of preventing or minimising harm to the child or others ... or preventing the child from engaging in offensive or disruptive behaviour."

Earlier today a senior staff member alleged Abraham called her to say she had washed a child's mouth out with soap to follow through on a threat.

Abraham denied this while giving evidence.

The trial continues.


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