Father charged after twin babies injured
Sun, 22 Jul 2012
A father has been charged with injuring his 9-week-old twins, one of who is recovering from a fractured shoulder.
The Herald on Sunday understands the injuries happened when the babies were shaken during an argument between the parents.
Police have indicated more charges are likely to follow.
The 33-year-old man, who has been granted name suppression, faces two counts of intentionally injuring the twins - a boy and a girl - and one count of grievous bodily harm against another person.
In Tauranga, a woman was stabbed to death on Friday in a domestic altercation.
These are textbook examples of why Owen Glenn made an $80-million pledge this week to end domestic violence and child abuse in New Zealand. He also offered to fund a commission of inquiry into family violence, which the Government turned down.
Glenn told the Herald on Sunday he was "astonished" the Government had not taken up his offer, saying family violence needed serious attention.
"If someone came and bashed your kids, would you think it is urgent? What else could possibly be more urgent?" he said.
"If the Government does not want to spend public money, then I am sending a courtesy to the Government.
"If they don't support it I will exercise my right as a citizen to do it, and I will decide who to put on the board. I don't have to share the view of the people we put in power to make decisions on our lives."
Glenn said he was willing to part with 10 per cent of his wealth because he didn't like seeing people who couldn't defend themselves get hurt.
"I despair and I feel sorry; some of the women should help themselves a lot more, but the kids can't do it. The kids are the ones that suffer, that have no way of seeking help."
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said several inquiries were already under way and pouring money into another one was not the answer.
"I thank him for his generosity and injection of money going right to the coalface. Donations like his can help cut through some of the bureaucracy ... but as for the inquiry, I personally think the money would be better spent on the frontline," Bennett said.
"But who am I to tell him how to spend his money?"
She also had a message for violent family members: "Take a breath and get help; please take it; it will be without judgment."
A neighbour of the twins told the Herald on Sunday the defendant's family, including six children, had moved out of their home of eight years on Wednesday.
"She has gone to her mum's in Manurewa and the kids were taken away by CYFs," she said.
She said the twins' mother was found crying on the front lawn.
When asked why she was upset, she was told the defendant allegedly shook their twins during an argument about what to name the babies.
"She wanted to name them after her parents but he didn't want that," she claimed.
Child, Youth and Family northern regional director Grant Bennett confirmed all of the children were living with appointed caregivers.
The father is in custody and due to appear in the Auckland District Court on July 31.
- Chloe Johnson of the Herald on Sunday