1493684833566 - Pre-school teacher trial: carer says she watched baby being force-fed

Pre-school teacher trial: carer says she watched baby being force-fed

A pre-school teacher covered the mouth of a baby after force-feeding him with a teaspoon, a court has heard.

Lynn Euphemia Abraham, 59, is on trial at the Auckland District Court after denying 11 charges of assault against nine children.

It is alleged the Onehunga woman smacked five children on their hands, bottoms or thighs, put sticky tape over a child’s mouth and washed another child’s mouth out with soap.

Abraham’s colleague Jennifer Wong gave evidence on Tuesday, saying she saw Abraham force-feed a baby.

READ MORE:
* Auckland pre-school teacher accused of force-feeding children, washing their mouths out with soap
* Name suppression continues for teacher accused of taping kids’ mouths shut
* Woman charged with forcing food and soap into children’s mouths

Wong said she, as well as other carers, were concerned but did not want to say anything.

Abraham used a teaspoon to push food into the baby’s mouth, then held the baby on her lap with her hand over his mouth, Wong said.

The baby had thrown up his food and Abraham forced the food back into his mouth, she said.

However, defence lawyer Graeme Newell said Abraham did not force-feed the child vomit, and the food was not swallowed and merely spat out.

“Whatever,” a distressed Wong replied.

Newell said all carers would attempt to spoon-feed the baby, and the baby’s parents insisted to Abraham that the baby was fed.

Court documents allege the incidents occurred between 2011 and 2016.

The early childcare centre and the owner of the company have been granted interim name suppression, pending a decision by Judge June Jelas which was extended until Tuesday afternoon.

The trial, before a jury of seven men and five women, is expected to finish on Friday.

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