Jury considers verdict in childcare assault case

Lynn Abraham (Newshub.)
Lynn Abraham (Newshub.)

A jury has retired to consider its verdict in the case of an Auckland childcare manager accused of assaulting pre-schoolers.

Lynn Abraham faces 11 charges relating to nine children under the age of five.

The charges date back to 2011, and one of the alleged victims was just one years old.

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

The daycare worker has denied the allegations, and said while giving evidence earlier this week that when it came to the smacking of children she only touched or moved their hands.

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

Judge June Jelas summed up the case on Friday morning at the Auckland District Court and reminded the jury to put any prejudices or emotions aside when considering their verdicts.

"You should not allow any feelings of sympathy during your consideration. You should be careful not to jump to conclusions based on how a witness reacts. It's been shown over time that looks can be deceiving."

Judge Jelas recounted Abraham's acknowledgement she touched children's hands, or patted their bottom in a hurrying type motion. But reminded the jury that type of touching was not what was being alleged.

What is, she told the court, "is that there was such a strike of the hand that they [a witness] could hear the smack sound. That is what has been alleged, not the other type of touching Ms Abraham has detailed".