New Zealand: CYF careers charged over wire brush abuse

Thu, 2 Jun 2011
Two Child Youth and Family caregivers have been accused of carrying out years cruelty against foster children in their care -- including scrubbing their bodies and teeth with a wire brush and chaining them up together.
Andrew John Hemara, 53, and his wife, Jenny-Lee Hemara, 49, from Wellsford, north of Auckland, and their 21-year-old daughter Tamara Lee Hemara are facing 38 charges of assaulting and wilfully ill-treating the four boys, aged between seven and 14, The New Zealand Herald reported today.
The alleged abused spanned a seven year period up to last year.
The Hemaras appeared in North Shore District Court last month and were remanded on bail until their next appearance later this month.
Andrew Hemara is alleged to have ripped an earring from one boy's ear, forced his hand into a fire and bent another boy's neck backwards over the metal pole of a bunk bed.
Jenny-Lee Hemara allegedly threw a metal tool at a boy and stabbed him in the hand with a pen.
Tamara Hemara is accused of repeatedly punching and kicking a boy.
Andrew and Jenny-Lee Hemara are jointly accused of scrubbing two boys' bodies and teeth with a wire brush, force-feeding them after shoving their faces into plates of food, chaining two boys together with a metal chain and making them sleep outside at night without blankets.
The boys were now living with another caregiver.