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Killers' Father Goes On Trial For Assaulting Nia Glassie

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Nia Glassie
Nia Glassie

Rotorua, Dec 4 NZPA - The father of the killers of Nia Glassie went on trial today for assaulting the Rotorua toddler.

William Warena Curtis, 49, pleaded not guilty in Rotorua District Court to eight charges of assaulting the three-year-old.

Curtis is the father of brothers Wiremu and Michael, aged 19 and 22, who were found guilty last month of murdering Nia by kicking her in the head on July 20 last year.

The little girl's mother Lisa Kuka, 35, was convicted of manslaughter for failing to provide medical treatment and failing to protect her daughter from violence.

Two others Oriwa Kemp, 18, and Michael Pearson, 20, were convicted of wilful ill-treatment and various assaults on Nia.

All are in custody awaiting sentence

William Curtis, 49, faces one charge of assault with a weapon -- a scarf -- and seven counts of assaulting Nia, all between March 1 and July 1, 2007.

They cover allegedly picking up and slamming three-year-old Nia into the floor, pushing her into a wall, striking the little girl in the mouth, threatening that he would stomp on her head if she did not stop crying, smacking Nia, kicking her, and pulling her ear.

From the dock, Curtis loudly responded "not guilty" as each charge was read out.

Judge Phillip Cooper warned at the start of today's trial that the case of Curtis senior formed allegations quite separate to those in last month's High Court hearing.

"At this stage that is what the charges are -- allegations only."

He warned jurors to keep an open mind and not be influenced by sympathy, prejudice, or pretrial publicity.


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