Auckland man jailed for burning young boy with boiling water

The sentencing judge called it "an act of extreme cruelty".
The sentencing judge called it "an act of extreme cruelty". Photo credit: Newshub

An Auckland man has been jailed for five years and eight months for the sickening abuse of a young boy who had been left in his care.

Avi Prasad inflicted what the sentencing judge called "an act of extreme cruelty" on an innocent and vulnerable eight year old.

The boy was taken to Auckland's Middlemore hospital just over a year ago with serious burns over his chest, abdomen, right upper abdomen, the top of his thighs and his genitals.

The wounds covered 20 percent of his body and he had to undergo nine rounds of surgery.

Prasad eventually confessed he put the boy in a shower and turned the water on as hot as it would go. 

He said he held the boy under the water until his skin was blistering and burning.

Prasad pleaded guilty to a charge with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Prasad tried to cover his tracks, but his texts found him out.

"I burnt his stomach in hot water," he messaged someone.

That was followed by another message saying "Skin peeled off" and a third saying "I went overboard this time".

Prasad admitted to police he was under the influence of cannabis and alcohol at the time of that incident.

But that wasn't the extent of his cruelty.

When the boy had arrived at hospital, staff noticed older unexplained injuries on his body too.

There were historic burn marks on his backside, swelling to the back of his head and his right hand and blood filled blisters on the heels of both of his feet.

The burn marks came from a butter knife Prasad had heated on an oven element and then pressed against the boys bare buttocks. 

For that attack, Prasad entered a guilty plea to a charge of wounding with intent to injure.

He also confessed to injuring with intent by bending back two of the boys fingers as far as they would as a punishment.

The abuse had taken place over four months.

Prasad's barrister Emma Priest says it was a case of a good man, doing a bad thing. 

She told the court Mr Prasad lacked the skills to deal with the boy's behavioural issues.

She tried to argue his actions were not premeditated. But the Judge disagreed saying it was wrong to describe it simply as a flash of anger.

"I struggle with accepting that heating a butter knife, asking a child to turn around and pull his pants down ... is not premeditated," said Judge McIlraith.

Crown Prosecutor Evan McCaughan told the court the boy still has to wear compression clothing, which "he absolutely hates". 

He said, "the grafted skin is still pink and raw and he cannot run around in the sunlight."

Mr McCaughan labelled Prasad actions cruel, sadistic and barbaric.

"It is simply impossible to imagine the level of pain and fear this boy suffered during this incident," said Mr McCaughan.

Another person charged in relation to the case will be sentenced at a later date.