The Christchurch Civic Creche case

1993 Documents

Trial Transcripts


Pages 332-422

Trial Testimony
May 17 1993,  May 24 1993

Testimony of Karen Deborah Zelas

The following is a direct copy of the trial transcripts, including pages
and line numbers.

Names of complainants and other identifying information have been deleted or changed to conform with Court suppression orders.  (using guidelines adopted by Lynley Hood in her book "A City Possessed" page 12).  These changes have been highlighted.

The transcript includes obvious abbreviations.
Less obvious abbreviations or spelling mistakes have been underlined

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

                        Page 332

I reside in Christchurch and I am a Specialist psychiatrist with
additional training in child psychiatry practising here in

5   Christchurch.  I have a Bach. of Medicine and Surgery and a Diploma
in Psychological Medicine.  I am a member of the RC of
Psychiatrists and a Fellow of the RANZ College of Psychiatrists.  I
am also a member of the NZ Assn of Psychotherapists.  I have been
practising child psychiatry since 1966.  I have been working in the

10  child psychiatry area.  As a specialist psychiatrist, I have been a
specialist general psychiatrist since 1971 and I have been a
specialist child psychiatrist in addition since 1973,   One of the
posts I have held is Director of the Child and Family Guidance
Centre from 1978 to 1986.  That entailed not only being involved in

15  clinical work with children and families hut also being involved in
programme development within the Centre, in service training of
staff, supervision of the clinical work of other people, including
that of trainees of various disciplines including psychiatry who
were present at the Centre.  I was also a member of the Child

20  Health Committee of the Bd of Health from 1977 through to 1987.  I
was a member of the National Advisory Committee of Prevention of
Child Abuse from 1980 to 1988.  A member of the Dept. committee on
the prosecun of crimes against children from 1985 to 1988. That was
the committee that did the preparatory background to the Evidence

25  Amendment Act as it related to children's evidence.  I have
international experience in this particular field.  I am on the
Editorial Board of the International Journal of Child Abuse and
Neglect. I Have been a rep. at a WHO seminar on Child Mental Health
in Singapore and I am consulting editor of the NZ Family Law

30  Bulletin.  I have held a McKenzie Education Foundation travelling
grant to examine issues relating to child sexual abuse overseas in
the US in 1984.  I have had the opportunity of lecturing on my
specialist topics throughout NZ.  Initially as the McKenzie
Visiting Lecturer I visited 12 diff. seminars in HZ and conducted

35  seminars on sexual abuse mattes, I have been involved in many
seminars, workshops and diff. events in many parts of the country
and given papers at international conferences.  Those workshops or
training workshops have included interviewing children.


                        Page 333

methodology, critiquing of videotapes and observing children on
such interviews,  I also carry out the conduct of specialist
assessments for the Family Court in New Zealand relating to
allegations of sexual abuse.  I not only evaluate the child who

5   alleges the abuse but also in some cases alleged perpetrators,  I
should say that in the last few years with the development of the
Specialist Services interviewing evidential interviewing unit the
formal evidential interviewing of children where there are allegns
of sexual abuse has been conducted by that unit so there has been a

10  change to the extent in which I have been involved in that
exploratory information gathering procedure from the children. The
Family Court evaluns of allegns of sexual abuse do include
interviewing children but on broader matters than merely the
content of possible abuse.  I also take briefs from defence Counsel

15  to evaluate and give evidence with regard to accused. We have
heard from Sue Sidey about her supervision by me on certain aspects
of her work.  As to what my role is with regard to the like of Sue
Sidey and Lynda Morgan, I have been providing clinical supervision
for the interviewers of the specialist services unit I think

20  virtually since its establishment.  That involves both group
supervision meetings and individual supervision sessions.  The
basis for the majority of these sessions is the review of videotape
interviews that the interviewers have been making.  The purposes of
the supervision are quite broad, they are generally for the

25  professional development of the interviewers and to that extent one
could see aspects of what takes place as being training, helping
them in broadening and developing their techniques of interviewing
children, particularly with reference to ensuring they are able to
adapt their approaches to children to what is developmentally

30  appropriate for that particular child.  It also involves an element
of consultation about individual children that they are assessing.
In that situation we may discuss broader aspects of the
information, the interviewers have available to them, as well as
looking at indicators that help to validate the information that

35  the child is able to give in the interview.  In the course of this
process interviewers may clarify what action they may take or
recommend in particular instances and so in that respect they are
perhaps assisted in decision making about individual children and


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families.   The clinical responsibility however for the work of the
interviewers remains with the DSW and not with me.  I have had some
involvement throughout with this particular inquiry and attended
the Knox Hall meeting which was the second of the two meetings

5   discussed.  As to what my involvement has been from the outset and
what part I palyed in the Knox Hall meeting, I had no formal
involvement in this inquiry until late in 1992.  I had at times
reviewed videotapes of interviews that interviewers had had with
children involved in the creche, not merely those who were

10  eventually complainants and in that situation we may have looked at
only a small portion of an interview to look at or examine a
particular aspect of either what the child has said or done or how
the interviewer has actually approached the sitn and at that time I
may not even have been aware of the name or identity of the child

15  that we were looking at.  The police later asked my advice more
formally about several children and I reviewed all of their
videotapes at that point.  The next stage really was my attendance
at the KNox Hall meeting and I was invited along as an observer and
someone who could be called upon if it were thought that my

20  expertise were required in responding to any matters that might
have come up at the meeting, so I had no formal role, I gave no
formal presentation but I did contribute to answering a few
questions from the floor.
Turning to the evidence relating to the general development level

25  of children of the same age group as the complainants under a no.
of headings, the first being Mental Ability. We are gen. talking
about children ranging from the age at which the complainants were
at the times the alleged events would have occurred through to the
ages they are at now.  3 through to 10.  Dealing with mental

30  ability first, as to the thought processes of children of this
particular age, could I make a general comment first that my
understanding is that the purpose of giving this type of informn in
a hearing such as this is to assist the jury in understanding the
children's evidence by understanding better the developmental

35  characteristics constraints and features of children at particular
ages so the ages these children are at the pre schooled age
children and there are diffs. between pre school age and primary
school children, the younger children are at a stage of what is


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called concrete thinking in which they have a very limited ability
in relation to thought processes. They tend to think very
literally, it is much easier for them to comprehend actual objects
that they can see, touch, feel.  They are not able to think in any

5   abstract fashion. The world tends in their thinking to rotate
around themselves and they tend to relate events that occur as
being in some way either for themselves, caused by themselves in
some way having a relationship to the child.  As they move into the
early school age years they largely retain that form of thinking

10  but they start to be able to engage in logical thinking.  Its the
sort of thinking that is prefaced by all the why questions, why
does this happen and why does the wind blow and they start to be
able to link cause and effect, they start to put because into their
sentences, one thing happens in their mind because another thing

15  has happened.  That will still be a very limited and possibly quite
incorrect understanding of actual cause and effect but it is a
beginning of the process of being able to think those things
through.  Pre school children and to an extent early primary school
children do engage in magical thinking.  Older children sometimes

20  will regress to this form of thinking when they are under threat or
pressure, particularly in relation to fears about personal safety.
Magical thinking in a sense stems from what I mentioned before,
that the world revolves around the child and the child does not
have a realistic understanding of how events occur or perhaps the

25  limits to their own power and abilities.  They have at a young age
a more limited ability to be clear about what things are real and
can really happen and so these matters can become involved in the
elaboration of magical thoughts.  Magical thoughts in primary
school age children are commonly invoked in a self protective

30  manner to try to protect them from some adversity or threat.  With
regard to magical thinking, a child to an extent will personify a
toy or animal and identify with that object.  When I say identify
with it I mean not that they think its themselves but they will
give it personal attributes so they will think it will feel and be

35  hurt and that sort of thing. One of the things that sometimes
occurs when children are abused is that threats will be made to a
child in order to try to stop a child from disclosing that abuse
and sometimes the threat, the verbal threats may be accompanied by


                        Page 336

physical actions either to toys or insects or threats of hurting
pets and the child, because of their stage of thinking isn't able
to distinguish between what can realistically happen and what is
threatened might happen, so they will believe it literally even if

5   it might seem an impossible threat to an adult observer.  With
regard to the literal or concrete thought processes, as to how that
shows itself in the giving of examples of whether or not the child
is actually able to say what the difference is, difference is
actually an abstract concept and people are not really capable of

10  abstract thought until they are 11 years of age or more and then
the extent varies so to ask the young child for instance what is
the diff. between truth anbd lies as a question might make it
impossible for the child to give an answer. HOwever a child may be
able to demonstrate for instance they do understand the diff.

15  between a truth and lie by being able to give a concrete example of
something truthful or to recognise an example that is given to them
or conversely to be able to identify an example of a something that
is untruthful or a lie and they can recognise examples accurately
at an earlier stage than they are able to volunteer an example.  In

20  terms of their ability to answer specific questions in
contradiction to hypothetical questions, it is much
easier for them to respond to direct questions and there is a
substantial body of research evidence that shows asking children
direct questions increases substantially the amount of detail or

25  information they are able to give about a matter.  And also the
asking of such questions does not lead to significantly more
inaccurate answers.
Dealing with language skills of children of this age that we are
talking about, as to how I
characterise language skills and vocab.

30  from pre school to primary, the language skills develop more
rapidly than the reasoning powers of thought or the ability to
understand abstract concepts.  Children's language increases in
complexity as they get older. Vocabulary commences first in keeping
I guess with their literal thinking.  It starts out primarily with

35  the ability to name objects and gradually words that are able to
describe what things are like start to be added to that.  Adverbs
and other words, things that indicate the spatial relationships of
things to one another develop later still but a pre school child


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will by the time they are 3 to 4 and there is considerable
variability from child to child generally have a fluent flow of
language which is simple, starting to put together more complex
sentences, in other words sentences that have more than one piece

5   to them and are joined by conjunctions.  They will make grammatical
errors, they will mix up for instance the use of personal pronouns
so that they will muddle up I and me and they will sometimes when
speaking of themselves speak of she or he instead of I. They will
sometimes muddle singular and plural pronouns as well. They also

10  will, and the ability to actually pronounce certain consonants is
more diff. for some children than others and the ability to do that
progresses variably so the ability for some children to say some
letters at a certain age than others differs and children will
sometimes muddle consonants they will sometimes put the wrong

15  letter into a word.  Sometimes the child will recognise that and
might correct themselves.   So these characteristics of language
can make the uninformed observer think that the child's speech
or account is muddled and make it difficult for them to follow
it at times because of the immaturity of the child's speech.



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RESUMED:    11.45
As to the sitn when a child witnesses something or talks about
something which she does not have the necessary word skills for,
children can only use the knowledge and skills that they have

5   available to them, so that if something has happened that child
doesn't understand or hasn't experienced previously and doesn't
have words for they will try to describe it according to whatever
language or experience they do have so this can lead to sometimes
quite unusual descriptions of events.  For instance in the sexual

10  area where a very young child does not have previous experience of
overtly sexual activities they may try to describe an experience
that occurs by using reference to things that they know like wees
or milk or they may think the person is trying to do something
different than what the person is actually doing so that they give

15  an unusual or even bizarre description of the events and it
certainly doesn't come out the way an adult would describe the same
activities.  Because a child does not have appropriate language or
experience to understand and describe an act of sexual abuse does
not invalidate the child's efforts of describing that activity.  A

20  child, also when they don't have language, may try to show what has
happened rather than describe it in words. Sometimes they will do
both together and we saw examples of this on the tapes.  One
particular example - Mr Harrison objects.
As to how easy it is for an observer to ascertain what might

25  perhaps be an adult phrase or use of words in the child's
conversation, sometimes in listening to a child one will hear a
phrase that sounds in its vocabulary or in its construction as
though it is more sophisticated than the rest of the child's
language and that suggests that it is something that they have

30  heard or have learnt from an adult and are remembering and
reproducing.  This is seen at times where children have been given
personal safety education and they have been taught that certain
things should happen and so when they tell an observer or
interviewer about that they may well describe those matters in a

35  more grammatically sophisticated and fluent manner than they
talk about other things,
BENCH   Just as a child who had had the workings of a motor vehicle
expalined to them carefully might talk about a motor vehicle in


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terms more adult than otherwise? Yes and this is how children learn
and assimilate information,
COUNSEL Knowledge is something gradually acquired throughout life
by the child.  It is gained largely from experience, experience of

5   course encompasses a lot of things. It encompasses things that are
done to and with a child, things that are deliberately taught to a
child.  The amount of information that a child has on all manner of
things obviously increases as they get older through this both
informal and formal education of the child.  But information does

10  have to be learnt and it is not something that children just
spontaneously know.  It is not something that is born in them and
therefore suddenly pops out at some stage.  They do have to in some
way have experienced something in order to know about it.  So
dealing with knowledge of intimate sexual acts and the like, that

15  is something the children have to experience in some way.  They
have to either be told about it in explicit detail, observe it or
have it done to them.  Its not something that they can just know
about.  Perhaps too one needs to be clear that ordinarily the
information that is given to young children of a sexual nature

20  intended either to help a child keep themselves safe or to explain
where babies come from that sort of thing is generally not of a
sufficiently explicit nature in a sexual sense to give the children
the depth of knowledge that would enable them to describe in detail
and with all the surrounding detail acts of sexual activity in a

25  plausible manner.  When describing activities which they have been
exposed to, children of a pre school primary school age will talk
about it in language that is consistent with their general level of
development so it depends where in that development they are as to
what skills they might have both to understand and describe what

30  has occurred.   So if adult terminology is used by the child in
such a discussion, the implications of that, if they are using
adult terminology they must have learnt it from an adult or another
person at least.
Numeracy and tine, as to what knowledge children of the age we are

35  talking about have of abstract and time concepts, very little or
none depending specifically on their age.  YOung children and even
primary school age children have great difficulty in understanding
and being able to label the passage of time. They have great


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difficulty in being able to place events in time, in fact it is
impossible for a young child.  They come to be able to do largely
into early school age to be able to order events to some extent so
they can often say we did this, then we did that and then something

5   else.  It is very difficult for them if asked to be able to say
whether something occurred before or after another event, that is
too abstract and difficult for them.  They don't have any real
understanding for instance of days of the week, they may know the
names of them and even be able to recite them through but if you

10  asked them whether something happened on Tuesday or Thursday or
Friday they will not accurately be able to tell you unless that day
has some particular significance for them.  Like they learn every
Sat. they go for access to Daddy for instance and that then gets a
particular label for them. Children also may be able to place

15  things in time by being able to associate them with a particular
event which occurred at a known time.  For instance, they might be
able to say that it was just after their birthday or around
Christmas.  So that that helps to place the event in time.  As to
counting and understanding of numeracy generally, numbers obviously

20  are something numeracy skills increase with age.  Pre school
children can generally count by rote up to about 10 or more if they
are more h ighly skilled.  That doesn't mean they understand what
those numbers actually mean in terms of quantity.  They will
commonly understand small numbers like 1 or 2, maybe 3 or 4

25  depending on their ability level and be able to use those
accurately or with some accuracy.  They tend to use numbers as
approximates to indicate whether something is a small or has
occurred a small no. of times or a large no. of times so they might
talk about something occurring lots of times or just once or they

30  may use a number that to them seems like a very big number to
indicate when something has happened in their minds a large number
of times and one can't place any literal value on the quantity of
that number.  For instance they might say something happened 800
times or millions of times so that is not an accurate estimate of

35  the actual number of times that the event occurred.  Sometimes
however children will say something occurred just once as a way of
minimising the seriousness of that event.  To a young child, for
instance, it seems not nearly as bad to take one biscuit when they


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weren't supposed to as to take 6 biscuits when they weren't
supposed to and if the event is something which they feat there may
be some adverse consequences from then they might minimise the
frequency of that event by saying it just happened once.  There is

5   sometimes an expectation that children will actually be more
perfect about things than adults so we sometimes put standards on
their accuracy etc which go beyond what we might even expect of
adults and that is inappropriate.
Memory and recall  as far as accuracy is concerned, as to how a

10  child's memory equates with an adult's memory, ref. to child
talking about the spread of ages 3-10, children's memories can be
accurate as adults and I think it is important to remember that.
Children, however, tend to recall much less information than either
an older child or an adult.  If you just ask a child to tell you

15  what happened in an open sense like that with a young child one is
likely to get only a very small amount of information but the
accuracy of that information is as likely to be accurate as an
adult's account of events.  The manner in which the information is
elicited from the child has some role to play in the recall.

20  Children, because they don't spontaneously retrieve a lot of
information if asked just a very general or open question, one can
facilitate their recall by asking them questions that follow on.
Now these may be open sort of questions to sort of continue the
flow, help them continue the flow of information like saying what

25  happened then and then you did what etc.  Or what may be m ore
specific and I think we saw a good example of that when Mr Harrison
asked Bart about cricket and he asked him if he could remember the
name of any bowlers and Bart thought very carefully and managed to
come up with only one name and that was Richard Hadlee and then Mr

30  Harrison went on and asked specific questions I think it was a West
Indian bowler and the child produced a name and he asked if he knew
the name of a fast bowler and he gave a name so these are direct
questions which help to stimulate the recall of a child. They can
also have their recall stimulated in two other ways.  One is by

35  having available articles which relate to an event they are trying
to describe or materials that enable them to reconstruct or to
demonstrate the events that have occurred and in that process the
child's recall is stimulated and the child is able to give a more


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full account.  The second of the ways is by actually placing the
child in a situation where an event occurred and it has been shown
the child's recall of the event is greatly increased by being
actually in the situation where an event occurred.  With regard to

5   what a child recalls about a particular event, there is a
difference in that recall between matters centrally affecting it
and peripheral matters.  The central detail of the event is more
clearly recalled by a child than peripheral detail,  A definition
of central and peripheral detail, central detail in a piece of

10  action is that detail which actively involves the child, whereas
peripheral detail are the things that are around that.  For a child
central detail is what actively impinges on the child and it
doesn't include such things as who might have been present or what
sort of wallpaper there was or perhaps detail about what a child or

15  another person was wearing.  Those are peripheral details and not
central details.  My evidence is that gen. the central details are
recalled more readily than peripheral details.  Accuracy of recall
has part in that, the central details are recalled more accurately

20  impact upon the child which is really why they are remembered.  As
to how that differs from an adults recollection of a similar
incident, the same is true to some extent for adults but they do
have a better ability to notice and recall peripheral detail than a
child does.  Repeated references to an incident and in particular

25  the central detail that has affected the child, given over a number
of occasions, the central detail the child gives tends to remain
constant. There may be more variation in peripheral detail than
central detail.  In saying that it is very important to realise
that where a number of similar events have occurred and children

30  are talking about them on different occasions it may not always be
apparent to the observer that the child may be talking about
different instances of the event and that this can account for some
apparent differences in the content of what the child is
describing.  In terms of obtaining information from the child,

35  perhaps in an interview situation, any situation where you are
trying to elicit detail, the factors that are going to influence
retrieval of that information, the things that are best remembered
are those events that have h ad a significant emotional impact on


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the child at the time and events that will encourage recall include
things like the way a child is asked about the event, whether the
child is feeling relaxed, whether the child is anxious, fearful of
the possible consequences of talking about the matter.  Time is a

5   factor.  The greater the distance between the time when an event
occurred and the time when a person, particularly a child, is being
questioned about it the less the child is likely to be able to
recall about an event.  That is not something that is just confined
to children.  In terms of the retrieval of this information in this

10  way, as to a child's motivation to provide this information, it is
a relevant factor.  If a child for whatever reasons is anxious
about consequences, if the memories are unpleasant, traumatic, then
the child may well be motivated not to remember them and this can
be a factor in not only children but also adults forgetting things

15  that have occurred and not being able to recall them so sometimes a
child may forget an incident for a period of time until something
happens which stimulates retrieval of that memory.   As far as a
child recalling events several years later when they might be 7 or
8 and the events occurred when 3 or 4, it is quite a complex

20  situation because the original event will have been understood and
mentally processed into memory according to the understanding and
the abilities of the child at the age at which it occurred.  Its
later remembered according to the skills that the child has at the
time at which the child is trying to recollect the event.  Now when

25  the child has been very young and has had only limited abilities at
the time the event has occurred, that makes it difficult for the
child to be able to give a comprehensive and perhaps even a
plausible account of what took place when they recall it at a later
stage and you may well find that the account the child gives of a

30  distant event in time might be much less sophisticated, much less
fluent than something that they might be able to tell you about
that happened a few days ago or a month ago just becausae that
latter event has been processed at an older, a higher,
developmental level and therefore there is more information

35  available, it is more clearly understood when it has been
processed in memory and the child can retrieve it and describe it more
readily.  With regard to traumatic memories and traumatic events,
they will not necessarily be recalled all at once, they may be


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retrieved over a period of time.  Traumatic memories are commonly
retrieved piecemeal and the more a person thinks about them the
more thye remember and this is so for children as well. They will
inevitably be incomplete to some degree when talking about children

5   because all their memories will be incomplete to some degree and
over the passage of time retrieval will occur given cues, given
motivation to remember.  What happens is also that remembering one
aspect or one event triggers a memory for something further and so
one can get a sort of jumping, leap frogging from one event to

10  another as memories come back into mind.   As to what part the
environment the child is in plays in facilitating that particular
recall, its much easier for children to recall traumatic events
when they feel safe and secure and protected.  In fact if they are
not and if they are still at risk in their minds at least from the

15  alleged perpetrator of events then there is a very strong
motivation for not recalling and disclosing those events. We see
this sometimes when abuse has occurred in families and a child will
commonly not disclose this event until there has been family
breakdown and a child is protected from both further abuse and any

20  possible repercussions from the abuser.  In terms of what the child
remembers of a particular traumatic experience, that is affected by
the reaction the child has to that particular event, in other words
how the child feels as a result of experiencing that particular
event at the time. That has an effect on the child's processing

25  into memory in the first instance and also being able to recall it
at a later time and if the threat as it were of those emotions
becomes overwhelming to a child then the child may very well push
the memory aside and forget the event.
With regard to children's development at this particular age, as to

30  what ability they have to perceive the significance of particular
questions asked by an interviewer or examiner, because a child's
thought processes and reasoning skills etc are very limited they
will often not be able to guess what an interviewer has in mind
when they ask a particular question and therefore they are actually

35  less likely than an adult to fill in gaps in their memories by
producing an answer that they think fits the bill.  They are more
likely to say they don't know or they don't remember.  Where you
have a sitn where a child has experienced a no. of similar


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traumatic experiences over a period of time, as to what effect that
will have on recall or communication of that information, it may
make the account sound quite muddled because the child may be
speaking at different times about different occasions and they

5   commonly don't clearly indicate what event they are actually
talking about at a particular moment and so on the surface of it it
may seem they are talkinga bout the same occasion so this can lead
to apparent contradictions in the account that a child gives
because the actual details of what occurs may be different on one

10  occasion from another occasion and when the child hasn't clearly
labelled which occasion they are talking about that then leads to
apparent contradiction and confusion and may apparently undermine
the validity of what they are saying.  As to how you avoid that,
well that is difficult and I think that it is often by going over

15  matters more than once, by approaching questioning from a different
angle, by if you sense that maybe the child is talking about
different occasions really trying to help the child identify the
contextual or other details that may distinguish that this occasion
is different from another occasion and to help the child separate

20  out into a more clear fashion the events that occurred.  With
regard to a child's descriptive abilities of identification of
another adults known or unknown to them, children rarely
misidentify people they know.  They are quite likely to
misidentify people who are strangers to them, its diff. for even

25  adults to recall and accurately describe a person they have met
briefly and for children that is more so.
The issue of interviewing children generally, as to whether
children give an account of events in the same way adults do, no
they don't.  As I mentioned already it tends to be piecemeal, they

30  tend to provide only a small amt of informn by free recall and
therefore they require questioning and other methods of prompting
recall and giving information.  Generally the most effective way in
terms of the general nature of questioniong to obtain information
from children is with children of this age both by asking them

35  questions and also by asking them to demonstrate their accounts.
One needs to approach the child in a non threatening manner and in
a manner which puts the child at ease and doesn't imply that
certain answers are right and other answers are wrong so the child


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is in a relaxed frame of mind.
Dealing with the general format of interviewing in evidential
interviews, there has been some evidence to date about the
structure of videoed evidential interviews.  In my experience the

5   basic format of an appropriate interview, the first phase is really
to engage with the child and to try to put the child at ease.   And
through that process also to gain some general view of what this
child is like and how they respond.  There are specific
requirements which we have heard about already to do with the

10  videotaping regulations so those requirements have to be gone
through in terms of demonstrating that a child is able to
distinguish between truth and lies and understands a promise and is
able to make a promise to tell the truth.  Some relatively brief
assessment needs to be made of the child's developmental abilities,

15  partly in order to know how to approach this particular child and
what sort of language one needs to use that would be age
appropriate and what sort of techniques are age appropriate and to
adapt ones methods accordingly and also to be able to demonstrate
the child's conceptual abilities, the extent the sophistication or

20  otherwise of their abilities to think and understand various
concepts so if those come up in the information the child gives one
has a yardstick to be able to understand the signif. of that. One
needs to gather from the child some general information about the
child, their relationships, their likes and dislikes and an

25  interviewer may already have some of that informn before going into
the interview from other people such as a parent.  The child may
then be invited to indicate what their understanding of the purpose
of meeting today might be and some children are very clear about
that and others are not.  And the approach the interviewer takes

30  would need to vary accordingly. The purpose subsequently is to try
to stimulate the recall of any events that the child may have to
discuss by various methods.  Firstly one would ask a child to just
tell you what they can about an event they have identified, that is
free recall, as we said already that is likely to give only limited

35  information.  The interviewer would then ordinarily ask exploratory
questions which are open ended questions, things like when, how,
what happened then, those sorts of open questions which in no way
suggest possible content of what an answer should include and they


                        Page 347

also don't carry any indication of right, what would be a right or
a wrong answer.  The probably the next phase one would recommend is
using or offering to the child any aids that might assist the child
in describing an event both to facilitate recall and also with a

5   young child who is unable to describe things well in words to
enable the child to actually show what has happened and this is
likely to considerably increase the amount of information that one
receives from the child. The next step if one is still not getting
a lot of information would be to ask more specific and direct

10  questions, again questions which are to a topic but which don't
suggest possible answers to the child and this again greatly
increases recall.  There are two other types of approach that a
person may utilise, partic. if a child is known to have disclosed
informn outside the interview but to date within the interview has

15  not repeated that informn or other informn of a similar nature and
that is to utilise anatomically correct dolls to try to give the
child the opportunity of demonstrating an event with some replica
as it were that reproduces with some degree of accuracy the actual
characteristics of people and poss. towards the end of an interview

20  where one knows the childl has told somebody else something the
interviewer may feel that it is appropriate to ask very specific
questions about, raise the topic with the child of the matters that
they know that the child has spoken about to another person, and
that may involve the use of what we call leading questions and it

25  does carry the risk of introducing information into the situation
rather than waiting for it to come from the child.  It is not
something that one would ordinarily deliberately do at an earlier
phase or assessment of a child.  Quite commonly interviewers will
also at the end of an interview review with the child the informn

30  they have gained from the child.  Sometimes by that means
clarifying things further, perhaps h elping to distinguish between
events, perhaps being able to get some semblance of when these
events may have occurred.  The final phase is bringing the
interview to a close, enabling the child to leave feeling as

35  comfortable as possible in the light of matters that may have been
discussed during the interview.   We have heard used various terms
relating to the nature of questions, leading, open, direct and so
on.  A leading question is one which within the question suggests a


                        Page 348

possible answer.  A single possible answer so a leading question
may be Did X do such and such to you and that would be a leading
question.  An open ended question on the other hand is one which
merely prompts a person to go on giving an account and enables them

5   or points them toward exploring further detail of what may have
occurred but does not include any sort of suggestion about what the
answer may be and I gave examples before about what happened then
and where did you go after that.  A direct question in contrast to
a leading question is one which is specific to a topic and directs

10  the child's attention to that topic but does not suggest an answer
to the child.  So a direct question might be if a child for
ihstance has been speaking about being in a certain place at some
point in the interview the interviewer might say when you were at
such and such a place tell me what happened then so the interviewer

15  is directing the child's attention to a particular matter and
inviting the child to take it further.  We have heard extensive
cross-exam. about the effect of leading questions. As to what
methods are available to detect what has been the effect of a
leading question, because leading questions give an indication of

20  how the child might answer the question the best way of being able
to determine the effect of that is to look at the way the child has
answered not only that question but other questions that might be
of a similar nature so one may find for instance that even though a
child has been asked a leading question the child may not take up

25  that lead, the child may answer no or I don't remember or that
didn't happen and then one can be confident that even though a
leading question was asked that it has not had any deliterious
effect upon the accuracy of what the child has been discussinq.
One might also find that a child appears to be taking up the lead

30  that is suggested in a leading question and then it becomes
important to be able to scrutinise how the child might have dealt
with any other leading questions because if one finds in general
terms a child hasn't been led by leading questions but does answer
yes or pick up the suggestion out of a particular leading question,

35  that may make one feel that the only reason the child has done so
is because that lead as it were or that information is correct.
One is then going to need to look also very closely at what follows
and one of the very important things is being able to determine


                        Page 349

whether having picked up or responded in the affirmative to a lead
whether the child is then able to give further detailed information
consistent with that statement which has not been suggested to the
child by the form of the questioning that the child has had.

5   Looking at the issue of whether information obtained in that way or
generally can be assessed for validity, as to what other factors
are taken into account in assessing a child's statements for
validity or invalidity, there is the language the child uses and
whether the language of the account is consistent developmentally

10  with the language the child uses in talking about other events.
One looks at the child's ability to say No to the interviewer, to
correct the interviewer perhaps, say they can't remember events
which suggests that the child is clear about the things that it
knows and doesn't know.  One looks at the detail of the information

15  that the child has given and compares that with the sort of detail
that one would expect a child of that age to have within their
knowledge so that if a child is able to give detailed information
that one would not expect a child of that age to know about then
that is a very important point in validating the child's account.

20  The emotional responses and reactions of the child during the
interview, during the account that is given, is important.  Whether
those emotional responses are consistent with the information -



                        Page 350

RESUMED:    2-15
On interview techniques, the role of play with toys or pens and
paper generally in an interview such as this, firstly I think one
needs to distinguish between play and using what might be called

5   play materials for non play purposes and using materials like pens
and paper or dolls or doll furniture things oŁ that nature as an
aid to describing an event is not play.  In general terms free play
should be kept to a minimum in an evidential interview.  But there
are some places for it.  One of the most obvious and perhaps the

10  most frequently used is in helping the child who is feeling anxious
to become more relaxed again and for a child that is like changing
the subject would be for an adult and talking about something
different.  Play may also be used as a distractor while interviewer
and child are actually talking about a matter.  Again it is just

15  something which makes the situation less tense and the verbal
interchange is continuing while the activity like drawing perhaps
is taking place.
Emotional development of children of the age we are talking about
3-10, affect, generally it is to do with the development of

20  feelings and emotions in a person, in a child.  And one of the
areas that is most relevant to us here is to do with the emotion
called anxiety and how children manifest that and how they cope
with that.  Anxiety of course is a very basic human emotion which
actually helps to protect people from impending danger or perceived

25  impending danger and has certain physiological bodily responses
that accompany it such as things like trembling and sweating and
pains in the tummy, in the gut, and sometimes n eeding to go to the
toilet and things like that so there is a very close link between
the body and body functions and the emotions.  In the children of

30  the age we are talking about, the mechanisms common in children of
that age in dealing with anxiety, anxiety will demonstrate itself
in diff. ways at diff. developmental stages and is very much tied
or the display of it is tied very much to the developmental stage
of the child.  Children are not particularly different from people

35  of other ages in the ways in which they protect themselves from
overwhelming anxiety.  They tend to utilise what are called defence
mechanisms, emotional or psychological defence mechanisms.  The
sort of things we see in children commonly are things like


                        Page 351

forgetting, pushing something out of the mind so that one then
doesn't have to experience the emotion that would go with recalling
those events.  Another way in which particularly young children
demonstrate anxiety is in various behavioural responses so that

5   they will vary according to the age and stage of development of the
child and they can range from the types of behaviours that are very
obvious to people like being difficult, throwing tantrums, those
sorts of ways of expressing feelings through to really the opposite
which is keeping things buried within themselves and they show by

10  becoming withdrawn, quiet, miserable, not participating in the
sorts of things one might expect of a child of that age.  I have
referred earlier to children's magical thinking and this can also
be the basis for protecting themselves from anxiety due to imagined
or real threat and they can utilise this particularly in the early

15  school age by empowering themselves in unrealistic ways so that
they will tell you how they beat somebody up or really took them
apart in a way that actually wouldn't be possible and probably
didn't occur as a way of trying to master the situation and master
their own feeling of powerlessness and helplessness.

20  As to behavioural characteristics of child sexual abuse.  Dealing
with general indicators which are consistent with sexual abuse in
children of this particular age, the things one would look for, the
behavioural effects of child sexual abuse tend to be greater the
closer the relationship of the child to the perpetrator so that

25  ongoing abuse by a caretaker tends to be likely to cause more
marked behavioural symptoms than a one off event by someone who the
child has known previous or continuing a relationship with.  The
effects are also influenced by whether or not there is physical
violence and threats as a part of the abuse.  If that is so the

30  effects are more likely to be marked than otherwise.  The types of
symptoms that one might expect to find in children of this age
group are quite wide ranging because based on what I was saying
before they actually represent a child's expression of anxiety and
that can be manifested in different ways according to not only the

35  age but also the personal characteristics of that child.  I should
say too that as you will recognise when I enumerate them for you
many of these symptoms are not solely confined to child sexual
abuse but can be caused by other sorts of traumatic events or


                        Page 352

disturbances in a child's life.  What tends to be apparent from
studies of children who have been sexually abused however is that
some are more likely to be indicative of sexual abuse than others
and that clustering of a number of symptoms is more likely to

5   indicate abuse than the existence of a solitary symptom. These
symptoms include such things as sleep disturbance in a child,
nightmares;  disturbances of a child's mood;  tearfulness, for
instance, sadness;  the presence or the turning of anxiety into
bodily symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, perhaps vomiting,

10  there may be open expressions of anxiety and fearful ness in the
child so that the child may be anxious about separating from a
parent, anxious about going to school, anxious about some
particular sitn or more diffusely anxious about nothing in
particular but just anxious.  Also particularly with younger

15  children regressive behaviour may occur so that a child as it were
slips backwards in their development at least in some areas of the
skillls that they have obtained and things like toilet training or
going to bed readily might change and a child may start to wet
again or to soil again or to be reluctant to go to bed and separate

2O  from parents where they had formerly grown out of that.  There may
be avoidant behaviours where a child will try to avoid certain
activities or certain people.  Particularly young children may
engage in sexualised play with other children to a degree and a
specificness in that most children do not engage in and this may

25  become a precoccupation and may represent itself in ritualised
repetitive play for isntance with dolls or mothers and fathers
whatever the child appears to be repeatedly enacting some traumatic
event that has presumably occurred to the child.  There may also be
changes in a child's ability to function more generally such as

30  loss of concentration and in school age children this may affect
their school work and ability to concentrate in class.  there may
also be an increase as it were in conscientiousness in a child
depending on that particular child's personality with the child
becoming over conscientious, striving very hard to do things right,

35  succeed, be liked etc.  Commonly there is low self esteem in such
children.  Some children may reflect their victimisation by
becoming very passive which also leaves them vulnerable in other
situations to further abuse on occasion.   Children can have


                        Page 353

outbursts of anger and tantrums, again where they have previously
grown out of these, and they may recur particularly once the
traumatic events have come back to mind and the child is feeling
angry, hostile, resentful of things that have occurred.  They will

5   not always be focussed directly to the alleged perpetrator but may
come out more generally in their behaviour and also quite often
directed toward those people that the child is closest to.
Accordingly as to any particular time that I would look at those
symptoms I have described as occurring or being expected to occur,

10  they can occur at diff. times, they can occur in conjunction with
the abuse at the time the abuse is occurring but they may also
occur and commonly occur at the time when those memories are
elicited from the child, in other words subsequent to the child's
disclosure.  I might say that this is so not only for children

15  recalling abusive events but it also is a very marked feature of
adults who do not recall and disclose episodes of child sexual
abuse until they are in adulthood. There is commonly a recurrence
or appearance of anxiety and fear associated with the return of
such memories.

20  Dealing with the question of whether conduct is consistent or
inconsistent with children of this particular age who have been
abused there are a no. of things, one of which includes the
recanting of a child during a further disclosure interview of an
original allegation.  That is a common finding with sexually abused

25  children that at some stage they may recant or withdraw the
allegation, say they were tricking or it wasn't true, they were
telling lies, and ordinarily that is associated with an intolerable
level of anxiety or conflict for the child so that the child feels
that the best way that he or she can protect themselves from the

30  consequences of what is taking place or to try and get things back
to normal is to in fact withdraw their allegation.  With regard to
children of this particular age it is consistent with behaviour of
sexually abused children of that age to initially deny any
suggestion of abuse at the hands of any particular person.  It is

35  very common.  Many children either deny or fail to disclose sexual
abuse at the time of its occurring.  In fact probably the majority
do so.  And there are a lot of factors involved in why that
happens.  It can be a very difficult thing for people to understand


                        Page 354

why a child might appear to continue to allow themselves to be at
risk of abuse without telling a responsible adult who can take some
action about it.  One has to understand that a child is in a very
much less powerful position than an adult who is caring for them

5   but the child is dependent upon that person moreover for care, for
nurture, for attention.  Ordinarily the child will also have warm
feelings, loving feelings for that person because not everything
that takes place between the child and that person is of a negative
nature and because children particularly have the capacity to close

10  their eyes to things that they don't like, to push them away, to
believe they won't happen again it enables the child to put the
abuse from their mind and to continue to maintain the relationship
with that person.  A child would feel in an extremely vulnerable
position if they disclose abuse and then remain dependent upon that

15  person for their care and a young child prior to disclosing abuse
does not necessarily have a realistic idea of what steps would be
taken if they tell about it and in fact they commonly believe
either very explicitly or less explicitly that in some way they may
be held responsible for what has taken place, they may be blamed,

20  they may not be believed, that somebody will be angry with them, if
there have been threats made by the perpetrator against the child
or against their loved ones the child may be fearful of the
consequences of disclosing that abuse believing that those things
would actually occur.

25  BENCH   So the behaviour you are talking about is the expressing of
such beliefs? Thats right or the failure to express such
information.  Embarrassment too plays a part particularly once
children get into the school aged area where they are more aware of
social attitudes and what sorts of behaviour are acceptable and are

30  not and they can make a difference.
COUNSEL:    Turning to the 11 complainants, dealing firstly with
Zelda Cypress, the first child in the book of
photographs with Lynda Morgan, I sat through and saw all the tapes
played.  The Crown played the second and third tape, being the

35  9.4.92 and 28.5.92.  Relying on the evidence I have seen in Court,
the videotape and the child's mother or anyone else relevant to the
child's behaviour.  Firstly her mental capacity, I would break that
up further with cognition, meaning thought processes and thinking


                        Page 355

abilities.  In general terms my assessment of Zelda's cognition it
is appropriate to her developmental age, her chronological age is
compatible with her developmental age.  She shows characteristics
of thought processes that one would expect for a child of this age,

5   her thinking is very concrete.  She is able to comprehend certain
basic concepts such as truth and lies and promises with some
confusion still to do with the nature of a promise, thinking,
confusing it to some extent with something that needs to be kept
secret.  There is some evidence of growth in her ability to

10  recognise and describe such meanings of such concepts between the
two interviews played even though they were only two months apart,
and this really sort of shows the speed with which children's,
skills developmental skills can change and how they tend to develop
in little jumps steps rather than in just a smooth continuum.  As

15  to her abilities as to time and numeracy, Zelda was able to state
the date which is appropriate to her age remembering she is 9 years
of age.  She has only a limited ability to judge the passage of
time as demonstrated by things that took place in her interviews,
she tends to be fairly non specific in her use of numbers but is

20  able to distinguish between something that happened 1 times,
something that happened sometimes and something that happened a lot
of times.  As far as numbers or quantities, she tends again not to
use specific numbers to a great extent but rather to talk in terms
of something happening heaps, lots, than putting particular numbers

25  onto them and those things are broadly in keeping with her age
although some children of 9 would be able to show a greater grasp
of numbers I think by that time.
As to language, her language is fluent, however it is affected that
fluency is affected by the level of her anxiety at any particular

30  time and her anxiety very much showed in characteristics to do with
her language and speech perhaps rather than language.  Her
vocabulary was age appropriate throughout her interviews.  There
was no evidence of the introduction of adult phraseology or matters
that sounded as though she was repeating adult applied information.

35  Knowledge,  Zelda's knowledge as apparent in the interviews
appeared to be age appropriate. She had a reasonable understanding
for instance what tummy buttons are for as far as babies are
concerned and she obviously had received age appropriate


                        Page 356

explanations of these matters from parents perhaps or other people.
 Zelda however had acquired specific knowledge of a sexual nature
which was not appropriate to her age.  And it is not the sort of
detail that children are ordinarily taught in the context of

5   personal safety education.
Affect - Zelda's general demeanour changes from one interview to
the next and she becomes quiet although responsive to the
interviewer.  She quite commonly avoids verbal answers and gives
non verbal answers by shaking her head for yes or for no.  This is

10  a way that or a feature of children when they are anxious that they
will commonly revert to either minimalist or non verbal responses
to questions when they are able to do so.  She shows herself to be
more animated and more fluent in her discussion when she and the
interviewer are talking about neutral matters.  Zelda did not

15  appear to be intimidated by the interviewer, afraid of the
interviewer and at times she leant close to the interviewer in a
way that indicated she was quite comfortable with the interviewer
and the interview situation and the distress or anxiety was
therefore not engendered by the situation or the interviewer per

20  se.
As to any signs of anxiety that I noted in the course of the
interview, yes there were and these were both expressed in words
and also expressed through actions and through the child's
emotional responses for instance the dropping of her voice, the

25  reverting to non verbal responses, that type of thing.
As to memory and recall with regard particularly to her mental
capability as it relates to recalling central detail of particular
matters - Mr Harrison objects.
As far as Zelda's emotional maturity is concerned, her emotional

30  maturity is appropriate to her age.  Dealing with behaviours which
might be consistent with sexual abuse in a child of that particular
age, as to what factors I have heard evidence about from the child
herself or her mother would be consistent with indications of a
child of that age having been sexually abused, the child having

35  severe headaches.  The child was described as having severe
headaches and this is consistent with a physical expression of
anxiety and commonly occurs with sexually abused children.  There
was further evidence from the mother the headaches had continued


                        Page 357

until this time last year and after the first evidential interview
there had been a recurrence necessitating panadeine and
reassurance.  The reoccurrence after the first disclosure interview
is not inconsistent and is consistent with what I described earlier

5   to do with the emotional response to retrieval of memories and
dealing with the feelings associated with that.
The mother gave evidence about Zelda at creche being extremely
extroverted, happy enough child.  Following departure from the
creche being less confident, not extroverted and frightened of

10  minor things.  That behaviour could be consistent with a child who
has been abused.  It is certainly a marked behavioural change and
one which has more recently been relieved in association with
counselling according to the mother's evidence.  It could of course
also be consistent with other factors.   When I talk about

15  something being consistent we are talking about that there is a
likelihood it may be associated with a certain type of event or
condition and the more of such factors that are present the greater
the likelihood.  There is a general description by the mother of
the child being more confident after counselling and disclosure

20  interviews, that is something I have taken into account and the
fears receding.   With this child there is also a delay in
disclosure of the abuse, not disclosed at the time she was at the
creche but only at a later stage questioned by the mother. That
delay in disclosure is consistent with a child of that particular

25  age being abused, and it is consistent with not disclosing the
abuse while the child regains in the care of the person alleged to
have abused them.
Molly Sumach, the second of the children in the booklet of
photographs.  There was one tape played to the jury made on the

30  12th Hay 1992,  With regard to Molly's mental capacity, my
assessment of her in general terms, I think she is an
intellectually bright child.  There is evidence of logical thinking
as well as concrete thinking in her processes.  She showed an early
ability to reason and to attribute cause and effect in a somewhat

35  concrete manner but nevertheless the beginnings were there.  She
readily was able to indicate that she understood the concepts that
were necessary at the commencement of the videotape and clearly
understood what lies were about.  As to numeracy and time, she was


                        Page 358

able to identify the day of the week which is quite good for a 7
year old.  She was very precise for instance when telling her age.
She said she was 7 turning 8 this year so she has quite good
abilities for her age in that area.  It is still though subject to

5   the constraints of a child of that age as far as being able to
determine matters to do with time and timing of events.  Molly uses
numbers appropriately for her age, that is she uses small numbers
apparently reliably.  But appears to use large numbers in a more
indiscriminate manner.  With regard to her language and

10  capabilities there, her language is very fluent and clear both in
its production and in its vocabulary.  Her grammar is appropriate
to her age.  She uses quite complex sentence construction for her
age.  And her language both in its vocabulary and in its
construction was consistent throughout the interview.

15  As far as knowledge is concerned, my appreciation of her knowledge
of sexual matters, that appeared to be appropriate to her age, she
did not demonstrate any detailed sexually explicit knowledge in the
Emotional maturity, we are talking about a no. of things. We are

20  talking about a child's ability to relate in relationships. We are
talking about a child's emotional responsiveness and how a child
deals with or demonstrates particular types of emotions at that age
and stage.
My assessment of Molly's emotional maturity, again quite

25  sophisticated for her age.  She has an ability to form a close and
comfortable relationship with another person such as the
interviewer.  She has an extrovert outgoing style.  She showed
herself to be self conscious to some degree.  I think reflecting
her understanding of social conventions in a way that perhaps a

30  younger child may not.
In terms of memory and recall coming under mental capability -
BENCH   I remember this child particularly in the emotional sense
of maturity appearing almost excited or excitable about some
things? Yes she was able to put a lot of emotional expression into

35  the matters that she recounted and she tended to do that by almost
reenacting those situations in a verbal way whereas a younger child
may not be able to do that and she was quite conspicuous amongst
the children in that respect. There were other characteristics also


                        Page 359

about how she actually appeared live in her emotions on the closed
circuit TV and she showed some reticence at times that was not in
keeping with her general extroversion.
COUHSEL     As to memory and recall, I put that under mental

5   capability because it is dependent upon the cognitive development
of the child.  In general my appreciation of Molly's memory and
recall abilities, they appeared to be good for her age.  I think
they were good for her age. In the process of that recall she as I
was saying verbally re-enacted and put a lot of feeling, was able

10  to convey feelings that were associated to the events that she was
recalling and communicate those very clearly to those listening.
She was able to recall more information in relation to direct
questions than free recall again which is consistent with her age
but she was also able to indicate when she did not remember things

15  and seemed at times quite thoughtful about matters she was
Behavioural matters consistent with a child of that age having been
sexually abused, there was evidence from the mother about night
terrors from 2 and 1/2 years on at the creche,  Nightmares are

20  quite common in sexually abused children of that age.  Night
terrors are a slightly different thing from just nightmares.  They
have certain characteristics like it being very difficult to wake
the child and the child being unconsolable for a considerable
period of time. They are quite frightening both to parents and the

25  child very often and they also may occur with children who have
been sexually abused.   Relating to toileting, the mother indicated
Molly hadn't needed assistance with toileting from the age of 3 on
and commented about holding on when she was at the creche and that
that hadn't occurred at home or school. Behaviour associated with

30  avoiding using toilet facilities in diff. places may be consistent
with child sexual abuse.  Tantrums the mother talked about and in
particular on one occasion where they used the creche car park and
the tantrums thrown by the child on that occasion with ref. to the
creche.  That is consistent with sexual abuse particularly with the

35  more outgoing type of child like Molly and it is also consistent
with the continuing behaviour of that nature that the mother
described being associated with return of memories of a
distressing nature.    A case of delayed or subsequent disclosure


                        Page 360

in this case, not disclosing till spoken to by the parents some
time later.  I understand the child initiated this at the episode
ref. to so it was a spontaneous if not detailed disclosure by the
child at the time the child was no longer in the care of that

5   children at the creche but stimulated by the return to the context
to the place and that is consistent with child sexual abuse.
Abigail Fir, she was one of the youngest of the children, the
Crown played the first of her tapes, one made on 5.6.92 and I saw
that particular tape.  My assessment of the mental capability of

10  Abigail, I believe she showed her developmental level is
appropriate for her chronological age, her thinking was still
predom. concrete and showing some very limited reasoning ability
starting to appear.  She showed she was able to understand the
basic concept that one would expect in a child of this age

15  including spatial relationships of objects and colours. She was
able to count by rote to 11 but only demonstrated a limited ability
as in keeping with her age to actually comprehend meaning of
numbers.  She uses numbers therefore at times inaccurately to
denote a general frequency such as saying something occurred

20  hundreds of times or lots of times.   Abigail showed some ability
to order events in time, for instance she was quite clear she had
been to creche in ChCh and gone to kindy in Auckland: and creche had
occurred before kindy and that is quite good for her age.  She also
was able to correctly estimate, according to the evidence given by

25  the mother, that she was about 3 when she was at the creche and the
mother's evidence indicated that she was indeed at the creche at
that time.
Her general knowledge was appropriate to a 5 year old.  She had a
good understanding of body parts and their functions which was

30  appropriate to her age.  She showed some reticence and anxiety
however in naming female genitals although she was able to more
readily name male genitalia.  She demonstrated in contrast with
that generally appropriate level of knowledge she demonstrated a
precocious sexual awareness and knowledge, non verbally in the

35  interview and one would not ordinarily expect a child of that age
to have such knowledge or information or to be able to demonstrate
in that way.
Dealing with memory and recall under the heading of mental


                        Page 361

capability, generally Abigail as one would expect for her age is
predominantly or was predominantly able to describe central events
that had occurred to herself.  And she was loss able, considerably
less able to describe peripheral events.  There is the added issue

5   for this child that she was apparently only 4 and 1/4 years when
she left the creche so again she is remembering events from an
earlier time in her life and therefore one would expect that she
would have less well constructed memories to be recalled.
Behaviour consistent with child sexual abuse in a child of that

10  age, one matter ref. to by the mother was the child getting out of
bed, crying and seeking solace, that is consistent.  The child
apparently was anxious at bedtime, distressed and sad at times and
also suffered from  nightmares.  The mother's evidence was also
Abigail was toilet trained when she went to the Big End at the age

15  of about 3 as were most children and thereafter she started needing
her mother to take her to the toilet at the creche.  That again
falls within the general pattern of evidence I gave with regard to
Zelda.  It is evidence of anxiety related to a specific situation
in the child.  It is also an anxiety that Abigail herself

20  expressed in interview and is not appropriate to a child who has
already gained independence in their toileting activities.  The
mother also gave evidence of once in Auckland Abigail being
fearful of men.  She noticed also that it occurred while she had
been at the creche, the Big End and noticed it intensifying after

25  talking about the creche in 1992.  Children are diff. in their
responses to people generally. The fact that her fearfulness of men
became exaggerated after talking about the creche does suggest
there may be some linkage here in that.

30  ADJOURNED;  3.30


                        Page 362

RESUMED;     3.45
As to any other behavioural symptom which could be consistent with
sexually abused children of that age, the mother described Abigail
as gradually becoming more distressed and reluctant for her to

5   leave at creche, that while she was in the Big end she noticed the
child was quite withdrawn and sad at different periods of time and
cried very easily.  She also noted that since Abigail had started
to talk about events that had occurred while she was at the creche,
she had become aggressive, hyper active and depressed.  Those

10  matters are consistent with children of that particular age who
have been abused.  I referred to a sadness in the child.  There was
evidence during that the course of the interview and giving
evidence of that sadness.  In the closed circuit evidence she gave
she appeared to be quite sad and withdrawn and flat in her mood.

15  The next matter referred to by the mother was Abigail            .
       not being able to handle people looking at her in classroom
activities.  Previously being able to perform in front of people
but not so after being at creche.  That is consistent with children
of that age having been abused, depending on what activities in

20  particular that a child might have been exposed to.  The mother
also recounted incidents in which the child had become panicky in
the presence of people dressed up like clowns and that she has been
aggressive and hyperactive on some of these types of occasions.
That is consistent with child sexual abuse.  She also described an

25  occasion in which she took Abigail to a public toilet and the
child became extremely distressed because she thought somebody was
looking at her and again that is consistent with child sexual
Again there was delayed disclosure by this child to her mother till

30  some time after in Auckland, that is consistent with a child having
been sexually abused.
In the interviews we also saw some initial avoidance or denial that
these matters had occurred to her, it is consistent in two
respects, both if a child has not yet retrieved memories but also

35  as is more likely in this instance where a child is choosing not
to discuss certain events, it is an avoidant mechanism in order to
avoid feelings of distress.
As to Eli Laurel, the fourth photo in the booklet of photographs,


                        Page 363

Eli had 3 interviews, the Crown played to the jury the first and
3rd, dated 3.4.92 and 28.10.92.  With regard to Eli's
intellectual attainment, I thought that he had good intellectual
ability and that in general terms his development was good to

5   slightly above average for his age.  When talking about
intellectual attainment we are talking about intelligence and the
way in which that shows in the child at this age.
With regard to mental capability of that child, he is in a concrete
phase of thinking and thought development at this stage in which he

10  takes matters very literally and there was evidence of this in some
of his responses in the interviews when he would seem to take the
meaning of the question in such a literal fashion that in fact he
would say no and then produce a new response which we might think
would come under the original question but he was being so much

15  more specific.  I can give an example of that.
Could I say first of all that the concrete thinking of Eli at
times contributes I think to his misunderstanding a question
asked of him because he takes it in such a literal fashion and
that needs to be taken into account in his responses.

20  As to his concepts of time, they are appropriate for his age, he
could say how old he was when he left the creche, he shows the
probable inaccuracies of a child of that age when he tries to be
specific about when something occurred.   For instance when he was
live on closed circuit TV even though he is now about 6 and 1/2 he

25  stated that something had happened 109 days ago which one would   t
expect to be an actual accurate estimate of the time that had
elapsed since the event occurred.  I don't expect a child of that
age to have a concept of 109 and be able to estimate that, even if
they can count by rote up to that number.  Although he is able to

30  correctly identify different spatial relationships of objects he
shows age appropriate difficulty for instance in being able through
memory to compare the sizes of two different things. He was asked
to compare the sizes of two rooms and he wasn't able to do that and
one would not expect a child of this age to be able to do such a

35  thing.  He shows I think inaccurate use, as I mentioned when
talking generally about children of this age, of the labelling of
the day of the week, for instance when he was asked the first time
when an event had occurred and he said I don't know um Friday and I


                        Page 364

don't think again one can take the usage of a day of the week to be
accurate in that way.  Eli also uses numbers in ways one would
expect talking about hundreds of times meaning many times, he
uses small numbers apparently accurately but he may also at times

5   use expressions of frequency like once or one time or just once as
a minimising and yet acknowledging practice.
As to Eli's use of toys and play things during the course of the
interview, he was setting up a toilet at one stage. As far as his
mental capability was concerned, as to his ability to distinguish

10  between reality and fantasy of play, I thought it was very good for
his age. On the one hand he was able to set up or arrange furniture
to represent a place in a symbolic fashion in a way that seemed
quite well thought out and precise and at times he would correct
himself and say no that wasn't there it was further away it was

15  over there but he also used that process as an avoidance, he got so
much into it and got the interviewer into it so he used it as a
blockade in keeping the interviewer at bay to some extent.  On one
occasion Eli threw a doll describing something the accused had
done and he said he didn't throw me across the room like that, that

20  indicates a capacity to distinguish between real and pretend, there
were sev. instances of that. He knocked a toy toilet over when
setting up this place, and knocked over something set up to rep.
bars for children to play on, and in the first instance he said I
didn't really knock the toilet over and said something else about

25  the bars, in other words he was distinguishing beteween things that
were happening inaccurately between things he was using to
demonstrate and real things he was demonstrating with the
His language generally was fluent for his age and he has a broad

30  vocabulary.  I also thought his grammatical construction of his
sentences was good for his age.  He showed some confusion with
personal pronouns although at one point it appeared that he was
using a more general pronoun like saying our when he was actually
ref. to himself as a method children use of distancing themselves

35  and sharing the respons. for something.  He did use our instead of
I.  That is an example of his confusion with regards the use of
that terminology.  That may not have been an example of confusion
it may have had something to do with his anxiety.


                        Page 365

In terms of his general knowledge and knowledge of sexual matters
under the heading of mental capability, his general knowledge is
appropriate to his age but he shows very much more knowledge of
specific sexual activities and indeed of perverse sexual activities

5   than one would expect in a child of his age.
Again with regard to his mental capability, he shows ability to
recall peripheral details greater than any other child of his age.
He certainly seems to be able to recall more peripheral detail than
many children of his age.

10  As to behaviours exhibited by Eli consistent with child sexual
abuse, Eli has apparently had prolonged fears at night time and
associated sleeping difficulties commencing during the time he was
at the creche.  By his mother's account he gets in and out of bed
when he is anxious.  And more recently since he has been disclosing

15  abuse there has been further exaggeration of this with him coming
out into the lounge quite pale and not settling to sleep until up
to 11 p.m. at night.  That is something consistent with a child of
that age having been sexually abused.  He has had nightmares as
well which commonly accompany such difficulties and anxieties. And

20  he has had times when he has not been able to sleep by himself.
There has been some resurgence of these nocturnal anxieties in the
weeks preceding this hearing and his need to appear in Court and
this is also consistent with the anxieties associated with child
sexual abuse and the need to recall events.

25  There was evidence from Eli's mother of comments like I'll stick
my finger up your bottom and also he asked someone to try and pull
his pants down and touch his bottom and had attempted to touch his
father and grandfather's penis.  As to how I would categorise this
behaviour, children of this age generally are int. in wees and

30  poohs and bodily functions and differences between males and
females but that is diff. from the type of behaviour that has been
described here.  In my opinion these sexualised behaviours that are
described are consistent with child sexual abuse.  With regard to
his toileting at the creche his mother's evidence was he held on

35  for lengthy periods such that at the end of the day she noticed on
occasions his stomach was distended.  That he sometimes asked his
mother to take him to the toilet at the creche. Those matters
relating to his toileting and particular]y holding on at the creche


                        Page 366

are consistent with the behaviour of children of this age who are
sexually abused. In addition the anxieties he expressed in assn
with this which showed themselves in wanting to have the mother
stay with him and even in the two weeks prior to  this hearing

5   again accoridng to the mother's evidence wanting the parents to
stand outside the toilet door while he went to the toilet are
consistent with that.  The mother also described an exaggeration of
this type of behaviour in asssn with toileting prior to disclosing
abuse and she described quite extreme behaviour if the parents did

10  not comply with his wishes.
On sexualised behaviour we had evidence from Ms Ngaio, the parent
of Derek, of the child Eli masturbating in the
back of the car on the way back from Rangiora, he being partic.
interested in trying to involve the other children in that act, get

15  them to look at it, that is consistent with children that have been
sexually abused. Sexualised behaviour in young children is one of
the behavioural indicators most specific to sexual abuse so it is
unlikely to be due to other behaviours.  the mother gave evidence
at the age of 4 and 1/2 Eli became very angry with her and

20  appeared to be constantly restraining himself from hitting her,
that type of conduct can be consistent with children of that age
being sexually abused. There is an indirect display of behaviour
with the parent rather than the person causing distress.
Where there has been a delayed disclosure till questioning by a

25  parent or some other person, it is consistent with children of this
age having been sexually abused and Eli in his live evidence
gave another example himself of the reluctance and difficulty there
can be for a child in telling parents about abuse when he said I
was too shy to tell them so I wrote the card about it so they would

30  know what happened to me.
Julian Yew, the 5th child in the booklet of photographs, the
Crown relied on the first of Julian's 5 interviews made on the
4.5.92 and I heard from his mother in the course of the evidence.
As far as his intellectual attainment,  Julian appears to have

35  attained an appropriate developmental level for his chronological
age.  It suggests his abilities are around average for a child of
this age.  His mode of thinking is concrete and he is able to
demonstrate understanding of concepts by giving concrete examples


                        Page 367

of them.  In terms of his mental capability, he is able to count by
rote but his concept of numbers is appropriately immature.  For
instance he uses numbers in a global sense to indicate quantities
rather than in a specific sense.  Twice saying that one event or

5   another occurred 800 times.  On another occasions saying another
event occurred lots and lots, can't even count it.  He uses those
sorts of expressions to recount events.  He does appear to be able
to use small numbers in an accurate fashion in keeping with his age
in the videotape interviews.

10  With regard to Julian's language, his language is fluent and clear
when he is relaxed and in that respect it is appropriate to his
age.  Under stress he does manifest regression in his speech, for
example there were parts of the interview on 26th June, parts of
which were played to the Court in which he acguired a baby voice

15  when he was talking and spoke in a slow staccato manner.  Julian's
vocabulary is consistent with his age and in general terms his
grammar and sentence construction are a little above average for
some children of his age but he does regress at times in use of
pronouns starting to speak of me rather than I in a way that

20  younger children appear to do and he appears to do this when he
appears to be anxious.
Julian's general knowledge and knowledge of sexual matters, his
general knowledge appears to be consistent with his age whereas his
awareness of sexual matters is quite precocious and one does not

25  expect children of his age to have the sort of knowledge that he
With regard to Julian's ability to recall and his memory generally,
they are consistent with children of his age in that he recalls and
recounts most clearly the central events of an action, central

30  details of a particular event and has little recall of peripheral
events.  He requires methods that will help him trigger his recall
and recall events as is appropriate for a child of this age.  And
he seems to be able to say when he cannot remember things and to be
comfortable in doing that.

35  Dealing with behavioural matters either consistent or inconsistent
with children of this age being abused, the mother recounted that
prior to being at the creche the child had been an active,
affectionate, open and loving child, whereas while he was at the


                        Page 368

creche he became progressively distanced from her and seemed to be
removed or sep. from the rest of the family. In my terminology I
would say this is another example of him becoming more withdrawn
during this period of time and he started to express reluctant to

5   attend the creche and this became most marked when he was between 4
and 5 years of age.  Those matters being consistent with child
sexual abuse.  I have noted matters to do with his toileting,
mother recounted that he was fully toilet trained before he went to
the creche but that while he was there he would want to be not just

10  while he was at the creche but also while he was at home during the
period he was attending the creche he would want to be in and out
of the toilet very rapidly to the extent that this impaired his
ability to toilet himself properly and carefully in the way that he
previously had been able to do.  He got messy his mother said and

15  this was particularly notable while he was about 4 years of age.
That is consistent with children of this age having been sexually
abused.  Where they have fears or anxieties about toilets or about
a particular place where abuse may have occurred.  Sleeping
difficulties the mother mentioned, following disclosure the point

20  was made.  This is consistent with the recall of sexual abuse
memories with the accompanying anxiety and distress that the child
may feel with the retrieval of those memories.  The mother
described Julian after having had the first interview skipping down
the corridor as if a great weight had gone off him.  Its a symptom

25  of relief of anxiety associated with a particular event.  And so
one must look at took place during that event to determine what the
significance of it might be.  Again there was some delay in
disclosure and there were also some psychosomatic symptoms by way
of headaches and sore stomach and aggressive behaviour which again

30  are consistent with child sexual above.
Tess Hickory, the 6th child in the booklet of photographs, she was
interviewed on 3 occasions and the Crown relied on the 1st and 3rd
interview.  In terms of Tess's intellectual attainment, they are
appropriate for her age, she appears to be of good intellectual

35  ability, her thinking seems to have progressed into logcial
thinking with some remnants of concrete thinking as well. AT times
these remnants affect her comprehension of questions so she again
answers in a very precise and fastidious manner, saying no


                        Page 369

something didn't occur at the same time but before and after that
event.  In terms of her mental capability, she is able to
understand the basic concepts one would expect in a child of that
age and she was able to show very clearly that she understands the

5   difference between real things and pretending things.  Tess knows
the date of her birthday and she showed an age appropriate
difficulty in putting events in order of their occurrence.  She has
age appropriate number skills and makes in her interviews only
limited use of numbers tending more to talk globally of frequencies

10  like saying something happened all the time meaning it happened
frequently or a lot of the time.
In terms of her knowledge generally and as to sexual matters, her
general knowledge is good but her sexual knowledge is precocious
and she recounts sexual information one would not expect in a child

15  of this age.
With regard to memory and recall, in terms of age appropriateness
and so on, Tess was appropriately more clear or most clear about
central events that either involved herself or the central events
of an action she had observed. She had some detail for more

20  peripheral events but they tended to be less precise and she became
more readily muddled about those and those are age appropriate
findings.  Tess showed particularly in the first interview that
she was more able than some of the children to deliver information
in a more narrative style but there was still the age appropriate

25  limitations and the quantity of information that she was able to
give by this means and in general she required triggers through
questioning or through the availability of materials to assist her
recall and enable her to describe events.
With regard to behaviours consistent with child sexual abuse, the

30  first is the evidence given by the mother of sexualised activity in
the bath while she was with her there.  The mother described the
child putting her mouth down at her genitals and other activities
such as the methodical washing of the mother in the bath.  That
type of behaviour is inappropriate behaviour for a child of this

35  age and it is consistent with child sexual abuse, it is sexualised
behaviour.  Of quite an explicit nature.  The other aspect of the
behaviour relating to this child and other behaviour of other
children is a progressive relaying of information, the amount of


                        Page 370

information increasing for each interview.  That behaviour is
consistent with a child of this particular age who has been
sexually abused.  Memories return gradually and not just in one
total piece of recall.  With regard to Tess and other behavioural

5   factors, there was one related to her being frightened at night
requiring comforting from her parents and the development of
routines that would comfort her and make it easier for her to feel
safe and be able to go to bed. That is consistent with the
anxieties associated with child sexual abuse.  The mother also

10  described the child as having brassy bold sort of emotional
responses when she is anxious and laughing in a harsh manner in an
inappropriate way at times.  And again this is consistent with a
child's ability or attempts I should say to protect themselves from
anxiety associated with a traumatic event such as sexual abuse.

15  Her mother talked about occasions when the child had gagged or
vomited on the way home on one occasion related to talking about
creche and matters that had gone on there.  As to how I would
describe that type of behaviour, I would describe it as being a
physical expression of anxiety and as being consistent with child

20  sexual abuse.  The mother also gave evidence about over the last
year always leaving the toilet door open and often needing to go to
the toilet in restaurants and spending a long time in there.  That
behaviour, unusual toileting behaviours are consistent with child
sexual abuse.

25  Bart Dogwood, I heard both his father and mother,           
                                   With regard to Bart's
intellectual attainment, Bart appears to be an intelligent child
with good understanding and intellectual abilities for his age.
His reading ability appears to be well above average for his age.

30  When he was 6 he was able to read a complex message that the
monitor had written down for the interviewer and Bart picked it up
and read it out loud.  Bart's thinking is at a concrete level with
an appreciation of cause and effect and also the beginnings of
logical thought showing in his videotaped interviews.  In other

35  words he is starting to be able to say that such and such a thing
happened because such and such shows it happened.  Bart is clearly
able to demonstrate that he understands basic concepts that are
necessary to us here.  It is notable that his understanding of


                        Page 371

concepts does show change over the period of time over which the
interviews were spaced so there are developmental increments in his
abilities.  His understanding of the passage of time is appropriate
to his age and therefore obviously limited.  He seems to have a

5   good understanding of short periods of time at thet ime they are
occurring, in other words at the time he was 6 to 6 and 1/2 years
of age like his estimates of how long an interview had been
continuing were quite good for his age.  In terms of his knowledge
of general matters and sexual matters, he had a good general

10  knowledge for his age and he seemed to be aware of some matters
that perhaps many children of his age would not be aware of.  For
instance he demonstrated he had knowledge of matters to do with
alcohol and drugs which not all 6 year olds would have. These
matters suggest that together with his intellectual ability he has

15  actually been talked to a lot and given a lot of information about
things probably within his family.  Bart also showed a good
understanding for isntance of body parts and their functions and
also appeared to be quite knowledgeable about motorcars. However
his sexual knowledge is grossly out of keeping with his age even if

20  one thinks of him as being more advanced in his age in this respect
than some other children.  The particular activities that he
described are quite of a broad and perverse nature and would not
ordinarily be known to a child of this age.  He shows as he gets
older over the period of the interviews some appreciation of the

25  difference between his own perception of matters at the time he is
describing them and at the time they would have occurred. For
instance he said in his first interview well now its not Ok he is
talking about for certain things to happen but then it tickled as
if he could discriminate between what his understanding of the

30  event was at the time it occurred and now at the time of
recallling and describing the event.
As to behaviours consistent with sexual abuse in a child of that
age, the first matter relates to his toileting, it was noticed he
would hold on till he got home, he was reluctant to go to the

35  toilet at the creche from age 3 and 1/2 to 4 by the mother more so.
That is consistent with a child's behaviour who has been sexually
abused at that age.  Particularly in a toilet trained child.  Fear
of spiders and insects, fears in general and they may become


                        Page 372

focussed on particular objects may be consistent with child sexual
abuse.  The mother described also of course his toileting and
soiling, wetting, in other words his regression to soiling and
wetting following the times when he made disclosures of sexual

5   abuse and this is quite inappropriate and is consistent with sexual
abuse.  Bart also showed anxieties and fears at nighttime with
delay in getting to sleep at night and the parents feeling a
requirement to check on him every few minutes till he would go to
sleep and also reassure him windows were locked and checked and

10  this again had developed since the time when he had disclosed
sexual abuse. We have heard also that at this time or about this
time Bart's parents had separated and were living apart. As to
whether any of the matters I said are consistent with sexual abuse
are also consistent with such an occurence, they could be and if

15  there were not detailed information coming from a child which
suggested sexual abuse then one would need to look for other
possible reasons as to why these behaviours might have occurred.
That would include a reluctance to go to the creche toilet itself?
Its not likely to but one would have to explore matters and exclude

20  that possibility. I  should say however that the association also
of the more severe symptoms with his disclosures of sexual abuse
appears to link them quite closely with a specific matter that does
relate to child sexual abuse rather than to other life events in
the child.  The mother also described Bart developing an obsession

25  with his clothing at one stage when there were periods of time when
he needed to wear clothing that would cover all his body and not
leave any skin exposed and again this is not an uncommon finding
with people who have been sexually abused.

30  ADJOURNED:  4.45


                        Page 373

RESUMED:  MONDAY 24TH MAY 1993 AT 10.00 A.M.
As to Kari Lacebark, the blond haired child in the book of photos
four from the back, she had a total of 6 interviews, the first 4

5   being relied on by the Crown.  As far as Kari's intellectual
attainment is concerned, Kari's developmental level appears to be
appropriate to her age intellectually and developmentally.  Her
thought processes during the videotaped interviews showed
themselves to be primarily concrete in nature with some evidence of

10  the beginning of the development of logical thinking.  At times the
concrete thinking affects her comprehension of questions and she
responds in a very precise manner which seems to miss the intended
meaning of the interviewer because she is responding very precisely
to the word content in those questions.  Kari demonstrates that she

15  is able to understand certain basic concepts such as the meanings
of truth, lies and promises but it was clearly more difficult for
her in the videotapes to be able to identify or explain the truth
than it was to explain what was a lie.  She clearly had a good
understanding of what is not true.  There is some evidence of

20  change there as time goes on.
As far as mental capability is concerned, Kari has age appropriate
limitations to her ability to be able to locate events in time.
She has some ability to do this consistent with her age such as she
was able to describe herself when she started at the creche as

25  being brand new.  At this age I would not expect her to be able to
accurately identify days of the week.  In keeping with her age she
is unable to accurately estimate the passage of time and she shows
this in the interviews, that she isn't able to gauge how long the
interview has been going on for with any degree of accuracy.  She

30  also seems to use terms at times to indicate the frequency of an
occurrence, like she uses the word every day in an interview to
mean apparently that something occurred frequently and I don't
think one can place absolute accuracy on the term "every day" as
meaning that something actually occurred every single day but that

35  it was something that occurred frequently.  She similarly uses the
phrases "Lots of times" and "everytime" in a way to distinguish
something again to do with frequency rather than preciseness.
Kari's numeracy skills appear to be appropriate for her age, that


                        Page 374      

is still quite limited at the time when the interviews were made.
One would expect that she is able to use small numbers accuately
but she also shows herself to use global terms again for frequency
when something occurred lots of times rather than being able to put

5   a numeric value on how often something actually occurred.  As far
as Kari's general knowledge and sexual knowledge is concerned, her
general knowledge appears to be quite broad for her age and her
sexual knowledge is inappropriately comprehensive for a child of
her age.  One does not expect a child of this age to have knowledge

10  of adult sexually explicit matters as she does including oral sex.
In terms of emotional maturity, her emotional maturity appears to
be appropriate to her age and she uses the defences against anxiety
that one might expect in a child of this age.  In particular she
uses or attempts to use an avoidant mechanism and this was very

15  apparent in her interviews that she tried to avoid discussing
matters that were troublesome to her by wanting to leave the
interview at that point. In terms of memory and recall which I put
under mental capability as a general heading, like children of her
age Kari's memory of central events is clearer than her memory for

20  peripheral events, that is those events that are not part of the
central action of what is happening.   Her recall is limited as a
spontaneous free recall and again this is appropriate to her age.
Recall for Kari was stimulated by exp]oratory questioning by the
interviewers and at times when a memory was triggered she could

25  then discuss the content of that memory quite fluently for her age.
 She also at times would make spontaneous additions, spontaneous
comments that were not a direct consequence of the question which
she had been asked but which appeared to be linked to the memory
that the question triggered for her.

30  As to behavioural symptoms and the issue of whether or not those
symptoms relayed in the main by her mother are consistent or
inconsistent of a child of that age who has been sexually abused,
difficulties with regard to sleep and increasing levels of anger
after the child turned the age of 3, sleeping difficulties of this

35  nature are consistent with child sexual abuse as are disturbances
in the child's mood, temper, often directed at the people who are
closest to the child such as the parents in this instance, even
though the child might be quite controlled and well behaved in the


                        Page 375

setting where they are exposed to the abusive behaviour.  The
second thing noted by the mother was physical pain such as a sore
tummy, intermittent sore bottom and itchy vagina and nauseas, these
are psychosematic symptoms in the child consistent with child

5   sexual abuse. It was noted in one of the interviews that Kari at
one point complained of feeling sick.  She was toilet trained fully
by the time she started at the Big End and the mother noted
although she was properly trained and dry at home she would
sometimes come home from the creche not being dry or being soiled,

10  she also commented on the child's general attitude toward being in
the toilet in that she would rush in and out as quickly as possible
which contributed to her toileting difficulties and that at home
she expressed anxieties about being in the toilet to the extent
that the parents decorated the toilet for her and had to use a

15  deodorant spray in the toilet because Kari did not like to smell
the smell of her bowel motions.  This is actually very unusual for
a child of this age.  Normally pre school children and even adults
don't feel revolted by the smell of their own bowel motions
although they may not like the smell of other peoples.  So this as

20  I say is unusual behaviour and in my opinion is consistent with
some of the matters that Kari herself describes.
Tantrums, Kari verbally abusing her mother, having extreme fits of
anger, noticed particularly after the age of 3 by which time she
had moved to the Big End of the Creche, Kari also accompanied some

25  Of this verbally aggressive behaviour with unusual comments and
threats either to herself or other members of the family and these
things are again quite unusual and consistent both with the
emotional response to sexual abuse and some of the verbal content
possibly also being consistent with things that might have been

30  said to the child as in the context of threats.
As to general behavioural change from the child being a calm gentle
child to one being tantrum prone and aggressive, that general
change is consistent with child sexual abuse.
A number of general behaviours, firstly the delay in the disclosure

35  of sexual abuse to a later time prompted by questions, that is
something consistent with abuse of a child of this age and at one
point Kari also said in interview I was scared of going to gaol
which again relates to the emotional motivation that is involved in


                        Page 376

delayed disclosure.  The mother gave evidence about Kari's poor
physical skills noted to be below average when she started school
and then there to be something of a marked improvement following
the child talking about abuse.  As to whether that is consistent or

5   inconsistent with other children of this age who have been sexually
abused, delay in physical skills of course can be due to a variety
of things but that does not normally dramatically change in the way
that has been described here unless it is actually linked in some
way with the disclosure of the abuse.  Physical skills, like other

10  skills, can be delayed for emotional reasons and in this instance
it would appear that the emotional factors associated with having
been abused have contributed to the delay in her physical skills
with a dramatic improvement as the mother said after she had
started to discuss, Kari had started to discuss these matters.  It

15  could be consistent with a child of that age who has been sexually
As to Yelena Holly, the child third from the back in the book of
photos, Yelena made three tapes and the Crown relied on the first
and third of those tapes.  In terms of S.23G as far as her

20  intellectual attainment is concerned, that appeared from the tapes
to be average to a little above average in ability.  Her
concentration and distractability appeared normal for her age but
there was some evidence of a lack of concentration and increased
ditractability in relation to specific contents or subject matter

25  in the interview which was not consistent with her general level
and ability.  Yelena's problem solving ability appeared to be quite
good for her age, her numeracy skills were quite good, she was able
to count by rote and had an understanding up to about 4 or 5 and
again you see the diff. in the level the child can count to and the

30  understanding of the actual number.  Yelena like other children
tended to use numbers to represent general frequency rather than in
a specific way once she got beyond the smaller numbers so she would
talk about things occurring lots or about 10 times which probably
indicates not an accurate number 10 but again quite a lot of

35  times.  Yelena's comprehension was appropriate to her age and like
most of the other children her thought processes are in the
concrete stage of development still.  She showed in the discussions
with the interviewer some looseness of her thoughts with jumping


                        Page 377

around from one topic to another and this particular seemed to be
associated with her recalling events over that one thing she was
talking about triggered another thought or memory she would jump to
the other one without completing the one before.  There was also

5   some evidence that her concrete level of understanding affected her
comprehension of some questions that she was being asked and the
manner in which she answered those.  This can lead to some
misunderstanding of what is being meant by people like ourselves
who have a higher level of understanding.  Yelena's concept of time

10  was appropriate to her age.  Again when one gets this combination
of numbers and time it means that any attempt to describe time or
put a numeric value on it is again affected by the limits of her
understanding of numbers as well as her understanding of time and
she showed a typical diff. for kids of this age in being able to

15  identify whether one thing came before another thing or came after.
She showed an understanding of time to the extent I think one would
expect and I think she described this quite well when talking about
how old she was in the Big End, she said she was 4 and 1/2, I was
quite big, I  nearly went to school, in other words she had concept

20  of how old she was at a particular time which was quite good for
her age.
She like other children had greater recall of central detail rather
than peripheral.  Her memories again were predominantly triggered
by the questioning of the interviewer and was clearly augmented by

25  that process of questioning.  She did also add spontaneous comments
that did not flow directly from the immediate answers to the
questions indicating that she was describing details that were
occurring to her in her mind as she discussed the matters.  She was
able also to say that she did not know or she couldn't remember in

30  relation to questions and this is an important matter.  She had
obvious gaps in her memory as one would expect from a child of this
As to the behavioural symptoms relating to this child, firstly the
mother described Yelena as being extremely frightened of men and

35  that that persisted right up to the trial, she remains shy of men,
together with a fear of sleeping in her own bed at night and often
waking up during the night and getting into bed with her mother.
Those fears are consistent with a child of this age who has been


                        Page 378

sexually abused by a male.  The mother also described Yelena being
frightened of going to the toilet at nights and fears gen. about
going to the toilet, that is consistent with child sexual abuse.
Nightmares, these frequently occur in sexually abused children.

5   Toilet training according to the mother Yelena's toilet training
had regressed after going to the Big End up to a point that she was
only fully dry again when at school.  She was wetting at night.
She was also having anxieties about using the toilet as well as
wetting her bed and being resistent to using the toilet at

10  nighttime.  These matters are consistent with child sexual abuse. I
think it is also notable for this child that she was quite young
when she started at the creche, she was less than 18 months of age
and so she was not at the point of being toilet trained or being
nearly toilet trained at the time she went to the creche.  So that

15  there has been a delay in acquiring those skills which is
consistent with sexual abuse having occurred during the period of
time when she was at the creche and as the mother described it
there was a change, a jump in her maturity in this respect after
she left the creche.

20  Symptoms relating to complaints of pain in her bottom with no
apparent physical signs being present, complaints by children
generally about pains in their body or bottom or vagina are
consistent with children who have been sexually abused of this
particular age.  The mother also described the child being obsessed

25  with penises generally and that had improved on counselling. That
is something consistent with children of this particular age who
have been sexually abused.  Again there is delayed disclosure here.
As to Derek Ngaio, the second to last photograph in
the booklet of photographs, he came dressed as a pirate.  In terms

30  of S.23G his intellectual attainment, his general level of
development is appropriate to his chronological age. His mode of
thinking if predominantly concrete in the interviews but there is
some evidence of the development of logical thought, the ability to
work out how things fit together as a consequence of something

35  else. He also shows himself able to make generalisations on the
basis of similarities between objects, between things, again
showing that his development in the thinking area is starting to
mature.  Derek's concept of time is appropriate to his age.  He


                        Page 379

has learnt to identify some special events by their dates such as
his birthday and he was able to identify his approximate age at a
certain time, for instance by identifying he was a big ender.  In
general terms I found his level of concentration to be good for his

5   age although it was affected by matters that concerned or
distressed him and he would become distractable at those times.
Derek's comprehension was appropriate to his age and his sense
of reality I thought was strong for his age.  He was able to say
clearly when he did not remember something or if he was unsure

10  about something and he had a clear understanding of what was true
and what the truth meant and what a lie was.
In terms of his general Knowledge and specifically his sexual
knowledge, Derek's general knowledge is good.  He seemed to be
well informed for his age about body parts and functions and

15  understanding of how the body works.  But he showed a precocious
and inappropriate knowledge of sexual matters, such as oral sex.
His memory and recall under the heading of mental capabilities,
Derek like others of his age is able to describe most clearly
central events rather than peripheral details.  He showed himself

20  able to remember most clearly events which actively involved
himself, again central events.  He was able to recall some details
in response to some peripheral details in response to questioning
although he did not volunteer these under free recall.  His recall
was gradual and was initiated by the questioning of the

25  interviewer.  He was able to indicate when it was difficult for him
to remember things and there were age appropriate gaps in his
As to behavioural symptoms, I have noted a no. of behavioural
symptoms, the first being toilet training.  Derek was apparently

30  toilet trained when he went to the Big End but he commenced soiling
while he was at the Big End and this was apparently quite a major
problem according to the mother.  He was also reluctant to use the
creche toilets by his mother's account and would hold on until she
came at the end of the day at times and would not go unless he was

35  accompanied.  These concerns about his toileting and soiling led
the parents to get assistance for this and although there has been
in his mother's words a dramatic change in his soiling following
the first evidential interview, there were continuing concerns up


                        Page 380

until that time.  So those fears of the toilets at creche, the
holding on and going to the toilet and toileting difficulties
generally, are consistent with a child of this age who has been
sexually abused, particularly the regression to soiling and the

5   fearfulness.  Fears and anxieties generally, we heard some detailed
evidence from his mother about his fears of intruders and laying
out traps, laying bones and what not across the windowsills,
setting traps, fears of burglars, fears of the accused
specifically.  These fears and anxieties described by the mother

10  are consistent with sexual abuse of a child of this age.  At 4 and
1/2 Derek was in the back seat of his mother's car, there was a
description by her of he and his sister and Eli Laurel being in
the back seat with Eli Laurel being seen to masturbate and
Derek being very frightened, putting his hands over his eyes and

15  asking Eli to stop and Derek also being frightened of his own
penis at times at a time when his parents expected him to be able
to wash himself.  Those matters relating to penises are consistent
with sexual abuse of a child of this age.   The dressing up
generally, some of which we saw when he came to Court and gave

20  evidence in a pirate's uniform, but prior to that his mother
described dressing up as a sense of bravery and also the mother
described him expressing it as being his obligation to keep the
house safe, or protect the house.  Those matters are consistent
with a child of this age who has been sexually abused.   Consistent

25  with an attempt, an effort to gain mastery over an anxiety and to
protect himself and those who are close to a child.
As to any other behavioural matters there worthy of comment, there
were matters to do with his clothing and not wanting to have things
close on him, including underpants, and again these are unusual

30  behaviours and one quite often finds that people who have been
sexually abused have problems with clothing in one way or another
to do with their body and their feelings about their body and I
would consider it to be consistent with sexual abuse.
As to the evidence of the mother of a marked improvement

35  particularly with regard to the soiling and his mood generally
after the disclosure but a later regression after that, the linking
of improvement with disclosure and relief from anxiety is a very
marked indicator that it is associated with child sexual abuse, it


                        Page 381

is consistent with a child of that ago being sexually abused.
            Lara Palm, the last child in the book of
photos                                   had three interviews and
the Crown relied on the first interview.  In terms of her

5   intellectual attainment, Lara's developmental level was also
appropriate to her age.  She also was in a stage of concrete
thinking and showed good understanding of basic concepts such as
truth, lies and promises. Her concept of time was also age
appropriate and she showed some degree of accuracy in terms of

10  identifying how old she was at the Big End, she said she was 3 or 4
which by the mother's evidence would be correct.                .
                    Her concept of numbers was appropriate to her

15  age and she seemed to be able to use small numbers with accuracy.
There was some suggestion at a few points that her comprehension,
even now at the time when she was live in Court was affected to
some extent still by her concrete thinking leading to possible
uncertainty as to her comprehension of questions.  Her general

20  language development was good but she at times used plural pronouns
during discussion of abusive incidents.  Lara's general knowledge
appeared to be appropriate to her age but her sexual knowledge was
inappropriately detailed for her age.
Memory and recall, again Lara was able to give more detail about

25  the central events than peripheral events and this is appropriate.
 She was however able to describe some peripheral details.  Most
 of the information she was able to recall was prompted by
 exploratory questions by the interviewer and at times during the
 interview when Lara recalled a particular incident she was

30  able to describe it in quite fluent narrative terms even though
 it was not a large amount of information.  The narrative flow of
 her account seemed to be greater where she was able to use aids
 such as furniture and dolls to describe matters.  There were at
times spontaneity in her memories in which she would produce

35  information unprompted by questions.
As to behavioural matters and symptoms noted by the mother, the
first was an indication that Lara was initially happy at creche
and thereafter showed once at the Big End a reluctance to go on


                        Page 382

occasions and in particular major tantrums in the morning prior to
going to creche.  That is consistent with children of this
particular age who have been sexually abused, it is consistent the
change in her mood.  The mother noted that on

5   arrival at the creche the child would often need to go to the
toilet and had been apparently holding on all day and would only go
to the toilet when accompanied by the mother.  That is consistent
with abuse of a child of this age, exhibiting those symptoms.
Nightmares and waking, the mother noted from 4 years of age on with

10  an increase in the frequency of the nightmares and the child often
afraid to sleep in her own room at night.  They stopped in 1992 and
re-emerged prior to the hearing.  Nightmares of that frequency are
consistent with a child being sexually abused.  The nature of the
disclosure, the physical fear shown by the child, the initial

15  reluctance and difficulty in telling the mother, that is something
consistent with a child of this age who has been sexually abused.
The mother talked about the child having a sense of relief and
there being a flow of material to her after the initial disclosure,
that is something consistent with someone who has been sexually

20  abused of this age, the relief is certainly consistent with child
sexual abuse.  As to any other behavioural symptom that was of
importance, there were the sore heads, stomach aches, vomiting that
the mother described and they are consistent with child sexual

You have given some evidence about how memory works and I just want
to take you through a few matters to begin with oŁ a general
nature, firstly would you agree with me that in pre school children
the short term memory acts as a filter on what is stored in the

30  long term memory? I am not sure what you mean by a filter in that
respect.  Everybody has a long term memory and a working memory,
for example the stenographer has a short term memory which she uses
when typing, when that is overloaded His Honour stops us till she
catches up and that is a working memory, one she uses to collate

35  material that comes in and perform the function, do you agree with
that? Yes.  That particular memory acts as a filter of material
that comes to a child so if the child can conprehend its working or
short term memory that material is capable of being stored in the


                        Page 383

long term memory? There are a no. of factors which affect a child's
ability to remember something in the longer term.  I have said
already in my evidence that the child's ability to comprehend what
is taking place, the way they perceive events, these influence the

5   material that will be stored, but there is then a storage process
that occurs.  For example if a child saw a large fire the child
could store in its long term memory the large fire, do you agree
with that because its an event rather than the knowledge of how a
car works for example? Its more diff. for children to store informn

10  that has no great significance for them or that they don't
understand as well unless that information or that event has a
major emotional impact upon them.  Would you agree that in the long
term memory you can break that down into an episodic memory, for
example the concept of seeing something like a huge fire which is

15  an event and a semantic memory which is a memory which develops as
the child learns to comprehend or develop? Things are certainly
with young children stored in memory which they do not have the
capacity at the time the event is stored to be able to put a verbal
description on and that then can become a problem at a later stage

20  when they are trying to or have some cause to recall those events
because they did not have the words to describe it accurately and
that can lead for instance to some very early events being able to
be recalled only as feeling states rather than as memories of
objects or events.  Both forms of long term memory episodic and

25  semantic also suffer from the process of natural forgetting and
there is also a process of pathological forgetting do you accept
that? Yes.  Natural forgetting is due to the process of time, just
decay, also from the displacement in the memory and the long term
memory would you agree also suffers from what is called the

30  interference theory? I am not familiar with the interference theory
by name.    The interference theory is based upon the idea that
preceding or subsequent events to the event to be remembered
interfere with one's memory of that particular event, would you
agree that is one of the natural ways of memory loss and

35  forgetting? I am not sure about that.  Would you also agree that
for pre school children there is a concept which is called
childhood amnesia? Yes.  And this is basically an inability to
recall early childhood memories and that is a univeral phenomenon


                        Page 384

everyone would suffer? Its not necssy an inability its a diff. and
there are individual diffs. in the extent to which people can
recall events from childhood.  Would you accept that one of the
reasons for infantile or childhood amnesia is the general

5   immaturity of the incoding mechanisms in long term memory? Yes.
Also the fact that in pre school children the immaturity of the
search and retrieval mechanisms, if you are looking at the
childhood memory as a library, the ability to retain the right book
is also immature? Yes.  Would you also agree that children during

10  this pre school period have not yet learned how to remember? No I
wouldn't have said that.  There is certainly matters that can
assist their recall of events. The only kinds of information for
recall available to pre school children are those encoding
conceptually? No I don't accept that either.  Its certainly

15  difficult for them to put other memories into words.  Would you
also accept that in young children they have also a memory source
of monitoring which means they often forget the source of the
memory they are talkinga bout? That can be difficult, that depends
on the nature of that memory and the emotional impact that the

20  event had upon the child at the time.  Would you accept that
children are more likely than adults to confuse memories of actions
they imagine themselves doing with memories of actions they
actually performed and those suggested to them?  No I don't accept
they are more likely to do that than adults.  Would you also accept

25  that children have a diff. with what is called reality monitoring?
They improve developmentally in their ability to monitor reality so
it depends very much what age you are speaking of.  This refers to
the magical thinking that you referred to?  Again you need to
qualify that.  Perhaps by way of example where you have referred to

30  a child thinking magically as you described it of them doing
something when in fact they haven't, the child would confuse the
magical thinking as something they had actually done? Magical
thinking in children of the ages that we are speaking of is very
much confined to certain types of events in response to certain

35  emotional states of the child and it is not a general inability to
distinguish reality from fantasy.  For example if a child lhas said
they leapt upon someone and beat them up, that may well not have
happened but be something they wished had happened? Thats correct.


                        Page 385

if they are feeling anxious and feeling in need of protecting
themself.  And therefore that would be an example of source amnesia
in that the child is describing it as something that has actually
happened and its only something they wished had happened? I don't

5   think what n ame or label you put on it affects the matter and we
have been talking about such matters for some time now.  Would you
accept the forgetting processes under decay, displacement,
interference, infantile amnesia and source amnesia occur
concurrently in a young child?  You haven't defined all of those

10  terms.  Are you not aware of the terms? I am not sure the jury will
be.  I am asking you are you aware of the terms? Some of them. ARe
there some you are not aware of? There are some there is a diff.
between what labels people put on things and diff. people put diff.
labels on things so when you use the terms I am not necssy sure

15  what you are ref. to.  Decay is a process of natural forgetting?
Yes. That is a process whereby thoughts fade if you like in the
memory? Yes with time.  Displacement is where a memory is if you
like substituted or pushed to one side by new learning and new
processes? Yes.  Interference is in the long term memory where new

20  processes and new learning change the original concept? Yes.
Infantile amnesia is that process in pre school children where they
do not have the ability to store and retrieve material from their
long term memory? I dsiagree with that as a total statement. I do
not accept the completeneess of infantile amnesia as you describe

25  or as it is described in the literature by some authors because
children are able to remember events that occurred at a younger
age.  What is your definition of infantile amnesia? I don't use the
term because amnesia means a total lack of memory and that does not
occur.  YOu accept that for young children most people cannot

30  remember what happened in that pre school period? There is a diff.
between what an adult can recall of being 3 or 4 and what a 3 or 4
or 5 or 6 year old can recall of being 3 or 4 and that is what we
are talking about here.  What research have you done in this
partic. area? I have done no research in memory other than reading

35  other people's research.  Source amnesia, are you aware of that
term? No.  That is a theory on the basis that a child is likely to
forget where the memory comes from, whether it was something that
happened or did not happen but that they imagined it to happen?


                        Page 386

Children at times adults in fact not only children are at times
unable to recall who told them a particular thing or where they got
a particular piece of information from.  And I accept that.  Would
you accept that those processes now described would be occurring

5   concurrently in a pre school child? Yes thye would be occurring.
Have you heard of the term pathological forgetting? That can mean a
lot of things but yes.  Under the definition which I am using this
is the situation where threat stress is involved in the process
of forgetting, would you accept there are 3 types of forgetting

10  under this heading, they are repression, disassociation, those two
being unconscious processes someone goes through, and the third one
being suppression which is a conscious process? Yes.   There is
also denial which is another unconscious mechanism.  It doesn't
mean that you are telling lies, it means that there is an

15  unconscious mechanism going on that precludes one from remembering
that event at that particular moment.  Perhaps that is better
placed under the repression heading? NO its a different mechanism.
Repression, suppression, denial and many others are the various
defence mechanisms the mind has and uses to protect from

20  overwhelming anxiety, to protect the integrity of the self, the
mind.  Would you accept that where a memory is either repressed or
disassociated from then if that memory ever recurs then its likely
to recur state bound with all the feelings associated with the
memory? Yes.  That is why that recall commonly leads to distress in

25  the individual and in most sexual abuse. Wld you accept children in
the pre school period are more subject to suggestability than older
children or adults? Yes.  Would you also accept that in young
children the state or the environment they are in at the time can
also influence how suggestible they are? At the time of what.  At

30  the time the suggestion is made? Suggestability is a human
characteristic and occurs at all ages but is greatest with very
young children, children younger than the ones we are considering
here and gradually diminishes with age but it is affected by
emotional state at the time and the circumstances at the time.

35  Essentially you can almost place suggestability on a curve from
extremely young children through to adults whereas the closer you
get to being an adult the less suggestable you are? Yes but you are
still suggestible.  Would you also agree that leading questions are


                        Page 387

extremely dangerous with young children of this age in that they
can often suggest the answer to the child? When you say that I
think there are a no. of factors involved, they are very dangerous
in the sense of being unwise in any sort of legal or evidential

5   setting because it can be thought that they may influence the
response of the child.  Children vary in their ability to resist
the content of leading questions and because a leading question is
used it does not necessarily invalidate the answer but it certainly
raises questions as to the reliability of the answer so one needs

10  to be able to look broadly at the manner in which this particular
child answers questions and in particular responds to leading
questions, and if one does that putting it in context one may well
find evidence that the child discards some leading questions but
will respond in the affirmative to others not because they are

15  leading but because in fact the information in them is correct and
in that instance a child is likely to be able to go on with further
exploratory questions that are not leading to be able to recall
detail consistent with the content of the answer to the leading
question.  What you are ref. to there is an interview situation

20  isn't it? Yes.  The problem with leading questions is that where it
is asked by people who are not trained such as your interviewers
then there is a very real danger that the children may take on
board the concept of sexual abuse? There is no more likelihood that
they will pick that up, a leading quesetion is a leading question

25  whoever asks it so there is no greater risk that a child will pick
up information from a leading question from one person than from
another just because its a leading question.  That is taking
aleading question in isolation, if you put a leading question from
a parent to a child in an environment where there is obviously

30  stress or concern by the parent for the child's safety, then that
is an environment whereby the child may take on board part of the
parents emotions and the concept of the question, is that not
correct? That is possible.  If that is the case and then there are
further questions asked then it is entirely possible for children

35  of this age to develop a whole scenario based on the type of
questioning undertaken by the parent? Only if as you say the whole
series of questions as it were were all leading questions so that
all the information were coming from that parent.  And even so


                        Page 388

there would need to be very strong motivations for the child to
pick up that information and in my opinion and my experience it is
very difficult for a child who has obtained information in that
manner to be able to subsequently give a spontaneous and plausible

5   account of those events in a manner that is age appropriate and has
the appropriate affect associated with it and is convincing.
Children of the age of which the children we are dealing with also
at this age have the ability to create to a certain extent
scenarios? Yes but they can only create scenarios on the basis of

10  information that they have from their general knowledge and life
experience. They can't create information out of nothing. As an
example if a parent asked a child whether someone placed their
penis in their mouth, they are quite capable of visualising that
because they would know what a penis looked like and what a mouth

15  looked like? They could visualise that broad statement yes.  If
they were then asked whether someone's pants were on or off for
that to happen a child would be able to give us the correct answer?
Well not necessarily.   Have you ever heard of the sexually abused
child syndrome?  Well I have not actually heard anybody refer to

20  the sexually abused syndrome, are you meaning the child sexual
abuse accom. syndrome.  Its also called this yes, is this where you
assess the behaviours of a child and try to establish a profile of
that child? No.  What do you believe to be the concept or
definition of the sexually abused child accommodn syndrome? Child

25  sexual abuse accommodation syndrome is an explanation of the manner
in which a child can accommodate to repeated sexual abuse over a
period of time with certain changes occurring in their emotional
adjustment and adaptation and in particular it helps to explain how
it is that children in that sort of situation tend not to disclose

30  the abuse.  The behaviours which you have been ref. to as being
consistent or inconsistent with child sexual abuse also come under
that syndrome? They are not described in conjunction with that
syndrome no. They are likely to be behavious some of those children
may manifest but the actual description of the accom. syndrome is

35  not one that describes all the behavioural consequences of child
sexual abuse.  Throughout your course or involvement in this
inquiry have you been compiling profiles, a symptom profile of each
partic. child? Yes. And on that basis that is the sort of informn


                        Page 389

you presented to the court today and last Monday? The informn I
have gathered together is what I have been presenting to the Court
yes.  Would you accept that the list of symptoms you have relied
upon which you included to make up your profile are also inclusive

5   of the symptoms of a wide variety of childhood disorders and normal
behaviour of young children? The majority as I have already
indicated are not exclusive to child sexual abuse.  When defined as
symptoms that endure over a period of time none of them are normal,
which does not mean that a normal child does not for instance

10  occasionally have a nightmare or if they are toilet trained
occasionally wets their pants or wets the bed but that is something
diff from something actually reaching the significance of being
what is clinically referred to as a symptom.  These symptoms as you
ref. to them are also symptoms of anxiety are they not? Thats

15  correct.  Anxiety in a child can be caused by a multitude of
things? Yes and that is why the importance of looking at the full
spectrum of the behaviours in the child and why those behaviours or
behavioural symptoms that are less commonly associated with other
causes such as the various sexualised behaviours become

20  particularly significant.



                        Page 390

RESUMED:    11.45
Where you have a child displaying a cluster of behaviours at best
that can be said to be indicative of anxiety of the child? There
have been studies of sexually abused children which suggest that

5   clusters of certain symptoms are more likely to indicate sexual
abuse even though they are symptoms of anxiety in the child.  Take
for example where a child's home environment is under extreme
stress and there is a lot of dissension in the family, isn't it
true that a young child living in such an environment may display

10  quite a few symptoms of anxiety? Yes that is possible.  These would
include possibly nightmares, possibly night terrors, toileting
problems and any other variety of anxiety behaviours? That is
possible.  Children can also have a fear of adult toilets can't
they? They can do, its not common but they can do.  More commonly

15  its a reluctance to use them rather than a fear of them.  Do you
not accept that a fear of the toilet often results from the child's
small size in relation to an adult sized toilet bowl for example?
That can be a reason if that is an isolated symptom or event.
Would you not also accept that as children grow older in the pre

20  school years and as their language skills develp they are far more
capable and able of showing their reluctance or their anger through
the use of tantrums? No its not to do with verbal abilities.  In
fact I mean tantrums are developmentally appropriate in the two
year old level.  If for example the child uses tantrums and gets

25  the result that it requires then such positive reinforcement if you
like can encourage the child to continue with tantrums? Yes that is
correct.  Also in young children its not uncommon for them to be
able to express reluctance about going to the creche or going to a
day care centre in much the same way as some adults have difficulty

30  some mornings coming to Court for example? At diff. developmental
phases children are likely to show some reluctance or anxiety, this
is generally however when the situation is new or strange to them.
It is less common once the child has become familiar and
comfortable with attending a particular place unless it is

35  associated with some event or occurrences that the child does not
like.  In much the same way as adults are sometimes reluctant or
have no desire to go to work, a place that they are normally
comfortable in, the child's ability to express that at a pre school


                        Page 391

age is extremely limited isn't it?  the basis for children's
reluctance to be in strange places is most commonly a symptom of
anxiety associated with separation and in that respect it is a
different phenomenon from the adult who is bored or would rather be

5   doing something different than going to work.  Where a child
perhaps attends a day care centre one day per week, that is a
situation where the child may not have time to relax entirely in
that environment and therefore isn't it acceptable if you like that
that child may show reluctance to attend to the day care centre if

10  its only going once a week? No I don't accept that.  If you couple
that with the other 6 days of the week the child staying at home in
the environment that it is entirely comfortable with does that
change your opinion? No it doesn't, children who spend most of
their time at home are commonly delighted to go somewhere with

15  other children and other activities for some portion of the time.
Once they are used to the place.  In terms of sexualised behaviour
I think you mentioned on Monday last that sexualised behaviour must
be learned, is that correct? I said sexual information must be
learned, sexual knowledge.  Then you would agree that some forms of

20  sexual behaviour the young child may learn for themselves? Fondling
their own genitals they learn for themselves.  And masturbation as
well? Well that is masturbation.  Would you also accept that where
a child is seeking attention they may display some inappropriate
forms of behaviour to attempt to obtain the attention of their

25  parents? That does occur yes.  You ref. to knowledge of sexual acts
or activities that you have mentioned under s.23G in terms of
specific children, such knowledge can either be learned through
being taught or being seen or actually participating in is that
correct? It is in broad terms.  But there are differences in the

30  manner in which a child will give an account of events depending on
whether they have been taught it by an adult, whether they have
observed it or whether they have personally been involved in the
activity itself.  For example if a child was taught about sexual
behaviour in an environment of great tension and stress then would

35  you not accept when the child is recounting that the effect of the
child can display the emotions under which it was taught? I am not
sure what sort of detail you are talking about when you say if the
child was taught about sexual activities.  Because ordinarily no


                        Page 392

matter what the strain of the environment or otherwise, people do
not give children detailed information of sexual activity.  If they
ore talking about matters they tend to do so in a much more global
and non specific way and then from that a child is not enabled to

5   actually create appropriate details that would sound plausible to a
person listening to their subsequent account.  Agaiin that would
depend on the manner in which the material was taught to the child
wouldn't it? Not the manner in which it is taught but the actual
detailed content of what is taught.  You have referred to direct

10  and leading questions? Yes.  And you have indicated to us that you
regard a direct question as being where the answer is not provided
in the question? Yes.  Therefore has someone touched your private
parts would be a direct question not suggesting the answer? It
certainly doesn't suggest, I would consider that a leading question

15  but it doesn't suggest the identity of any particular person so if
a child then says a particular person did this then one would have
to look at the fact that the answer seemed to have gone beyond the
question.   Would you also accept that multi choice questions are
leading in that they provide a possible answer for the child to

20  choose from?  They do provide possible answers.  They generally
provide a choice of answers and often they are choices which are
antithetical or opposite to one another or involve a range of
choices which will involve some improbable answers or an open ended
option for the child to add something diff. if something diff. is

25  apppropriate and none is offerd so there is a variety of ways a
multi choice question can be framed to a child.  For example a
question such as were his pants on or off is one that provides a
very leading question to the child? Well in the sense they must
have been one or the other its actually not leading at all, pants

30  are either on or off so its not actually multiple choice, well its
multiple choice but not a leading question.  If for example you are
dealing with children round the age of children concerned here and
the child provides the answer "on" and then the question is asked
several times again do you not agree that could suggest to the

35  child the original choice is wrong? It may do but it may also be a
way of determining whether the child actaully gives a consistent
answer to the same question and sometimes if the question relates
to peripheral detail and it is asked on a number of occasions one


                        Page 393

might actually get diff. answers, diff. responses at different
times.  You ref. to your role in this inquiry I believe Miss Sidey
indicated that she discussed with you her approach to the meeting
in 1991, do you recall that, the meeting at the creche itself?  I

5   don't recall a conversation about that, there may have been one.
Between the meeting at the creche and at the Knox Hall what
involvement did you have in the inquiry? When was the meeting at
the creche.  2nd December 1991, Knox Hall was on 31 March 1992?  So
between early December and March 1992 what involvement did I have,

10  the only involvement I had, I had no official involvement, the only
involvement I had in that period was as a supervisor to Sue Sidey
and that was an intermittent contact, we had no contact from
shortly before Christmas until late January and we met I think 2
or 3 times over the next few weeks.  Didn't you also appear on the

15  Holmes Show on 23 March 1992? No not that I am aware of.  What was
the topic of that, if I did it was about a diff. topic. There was a
programme viewed on 23 March 1992, Holmes programme about the civic
creche inquiry? No I haven't been on TV about the civic creche
inquiry.  I certainly don't remember it.  Do you not recall being

20  asked by Mr HOlmes on 23rd March 1992 he asked you the question
"There's a danger isn't there parents can now start imagining
change?" and your answer is "Yes there is, I would very much urge
parents if they can to be able to hold back until they have formal
contact with the agencies that will be investigating these matters.

25  There is a real risk if they start to try to speak with their own
children about it that unintentionally in their effort to get to
the truth that they might introduce ideas to the child by the way
in which they ask questions of the child and then they may finish
up in a position that it will become impossible to know whether or

30  not their child actually has been abused."? If you say so then I
must have.  I actually don't recall doing that interview.  Wld you
like to refresh your memory? No I accept what you say, its the sort
of thing I woul dhave said under those circumstances.  So would you
now accept that on 23 March you appeared on the HOlmes Show? Yes I

35  accept that.  And at that stage you were giving specific advice to
parents about how to deal with their children concerning the civic
creche inquiry? It was much the same sort of information that had
been given to parents all along, for instance at the KNox Hall


                        Page 394

meeting.  This particular show was prior to the Knox Hall meeting
and also prior to any charges being laid against Peter Ellis, do
you accept that? Yes.  Well I don't remember the date of the Holmes
but it you say it was prior to that I accept that.  By the time you

5   attended the Knox Hall meeting you were already involved as a
spokesperson in some ways for the police weren't you?  What do you
mean by that.  I didn't do that interview at the behest of the
police.  Can you recall at whose behest you did the interview? It
would have been from a reporter contacting me and asking whether I

10  was prepared to be interviewed and I would have indicated that
there would be no way in which I would be able to talk other than
in general terms.  Didn't you also say in that interview that there
are specialist interviewers who are being set up to interview these
children over a period of time and it is very important that

15  parents don't conduct their own interrogations? If you say so.  Wld
you not accept by that stage you are dealing specif, with the civic
creche inquiry and you also had specific knowledge of what was
happening in terms of the DSW? I was aware all along what was
happening in general terms and procedures.  Also during that

20  interview do you accept that you gave out advice on particular
behaviours parents should look for in terms of being consistent
with sexual abuse? I don't recall.  Do you recall saying "With
young children some of the more specific things include things like
having nightmares, sleeping disturbances of varying kinds, young

25  children also quite often will start to display sexualised
behaviour themselves"? I don't recall saying that but if you say I
did I accept that.  Can you also recall advising them that there
may be problems associated witih the child's concentration, ability
to perform at school, to make friends? No.    Can you recall saying

30  "Well they can show themselves by continuing symptoms of anxiety
perhaps with sleep disturbances, perhaps with problem in
relationships, perhaps with continuing sexualised behaviours, there
may be problems associated with their concentration, their ability
to perform at school, to make friends" and then you ref. to

35  behaviours when they get older, do you recall saying that now? No I
don't recall the content but I agree with those things, they are
all valid comments.  On the Holmes Show you also agreed that
parents can start imagining changes, do you recall that? No I don't


                        Page 395

recall the content of the interview at all.  When you accepted that
parents can start imagining changes were you referring to a
situation where? Is that what I said imagining changes.  I'll read
it again, Mr Holmes said "There's a danger isn't there parents can

5   now start imagining changes" this is after you talked about the
behaviour indications and you replied "yes there is, and I would
very much urge parents if they can to be able to hold back until
they have formal contact with the agencies that will be
investigating these matters"? Yes.  When you agreed with Mr Holmes

10  leading question were you accepting that parents in these
situations can over-react to some normal childhood behaviours and
blow them out of all proportion? What I think I was referring to
was that people can become unduly, adults can become unduly anxious
if they believe that their child may have been exposed to sexual

15  abuse and this can sensitise them to any little things that occur
and under those circumstances parents may become concerned that
behaviours which are transitory or insignificant might indicate
something more sinister.  I ref. you earlier to a section where you
were talking about parents questioning their children, do you not

2O  accept that where inappropriate questioning has been undertaken by
parents of children then it will become impossible to know whether
or not their child has actually been abused? It makes it very
difficult and one needs to look very carefully indeed at the
content of interviews with the child in order to be able to

25  determine the reliability of the information that the child gives.
In such a case as a supervisor of interviewers would you suggest
that the interviewers spend considerable time in the interview
attempting to ascertain what exactly the parents have asked them?
Not considerable time because I think that children even more than

30  adults find it difficult to recall verbal, the content of verbal
discussions and even with adults it is often difficult for people
who have a conversation with another person where they for instance
both agree on a particular topic to subsequently be able to say
which of them actually said it, whether one person said it and the

35  other agreed or whether the other said it and they agreed so that
difficulty is even greater for children than it is for adults.
Therefore that is not a fruitful line of questioning of a child and
one gets better information about the reliability of the child's


                        Page 396

account from various chracteristics of that account itself.  But
there still remains the problem of in particularly young children
source amnesia which covers a situation where a child can believe
that they were involved in something they were only told about? But

5   they can't then produce the convincing detail about it and
 commonly if children have learnt something through an adult
 telling them about it they describe the event in a much more
 adult way and their language and grammar and maybe even the
 fluency of what they are saying sounds different.  In the

10  situation of particularly young children who are interviewed
 there is no flow of narrative but rather a whole series of
 questions isn't there? Yes that is correct.    The danger is that
where the concept is introduced and discussed at home then that
concept can reappear if it is the child's own memory of something

15  that happened? The concept can but the detail is not there and
children tend to describe the matter in a different way.  They also
tend not to convincingly describe themselves as being a part of it
with all the little details that they recall as to feelings or the
manner in which something occurred or what happened next because

20  they just don't have the memory to draw on in that respect.
Doesn't that depend on the manner in which they were questioned by
their parents initially? Ho I don't believe it does, not in my
experience.  Then why did you say on the Holmes programme "There is
a real risk if they start to try to speak with their own children

25  about it that unintentionally in their effort to get to the truth
that they might introduce ideas to the child by the way in which
they ask questions of the child and then they may finish up in a
position that it'll become impossible to know whether or not their
child actually has been abused"?  It certainly makes it very much

30  more difficult and if it is, I guess I was ref. primarily there to
the sort of sitn that occurs sometimes in very strongly disputed
custody and access sitns which is actually diff. from this
circumstance where over a very prolonged period of time the child
actually grows up with these ideas and concepts and it can then be

35  difficult if not impossible to be able to be sure whether or not
abuse has occurred but what you get is this discrepancy between
what a parent alleges has occurred and the content of what a child
actually says in a formal interview and there are commonly


                        Page 397

discrepancies there but one may never know the truth of the event.
You were talking about the civic creche inquiry on this interview?
Yes I was. YOu weren't refe. to a family sitn? No but I was talking
in general about talking with children. You were ref. specifically

5   to the parents of children who have been at the civic creche? Yes.
Would you not accept that the information and advice you were
giving was very pertinent to the parents who had children at the
creche and this inquiry? It was intended to be pertinent to them
and to stress that they should be leaving the interviewing to the

10  interviewers.  If anything I would have wanted to be trying to
impress upon them that they may pose inadvertently pose problems as
to the credibility of their children if they conducted extensive
interviews as it were of the children themselves in order to try to
stop them doing that.  I guess I overstated the case for that

15  purpose.  Why didn't you just tell them this could affect the
credibility of their children rather than saying such questioning
would make it impossible to know whether or not their child
actually had been abused? Because one doesn't a. know the questions
beforehand, b. doesn't have an opportunity to work out the most

20  ideal answer, and in the circumstances thats the way I answered.
And there is that poss. and one has to look at each individual
child in determining how credible the information appears to be
that the child has given and that is the job of the court.  What
behaviours in young children are inconsistent with the child who

25  has been sexually abused?  I hadn't thought about that.  Your
entire approach is to find behaviours that fit your definition of
behaviour that is consistent with abuse is that right? No this is
not just my view, there is a substantial body of literature where
studies have been done on sexually abused children to deetermine

30  what behavioural symptoms they demonstrate and the matters I have
outlined for the Court are consistent with those.  Its not a case
of proceeding to find symptoms and say this child has been sexually
abused.  It is a process of looking at the whole totality, not only
of the child's behaviour but also of the information coming from

35  the child and looking at the consistency or otherwise between those
matters and what I have been doing in Court is underlining those
behaviours that these children have shown by the account of their
parents and in some instances from things they have said themselves


                        Page 398

during interviews that are consistent with those behavioural
symptoms which are generally accepted as occurring with increased
frequency in children who are sexually abused.  In terms of s.23G
you have ignored the behaviours that would be inconsistent in those

5   children is that right?  Well the task has been, I haven't ignored
them in my own consideration, the task has been to identify those
matters in their behaviour which are actually consistent with the
information that they have given in their interviews.   If you have
never thought about behaviours that are inconsistent with sexual

10  abuse, then in essence all you can tell this Court is one half of
the story is that right? No it isn't right. I haven't sat down and
tried to compile a list of behaviours that are inconsistent with
child sexual abuse. However I have many years of experience of
interviewing children, working with families and appraising whether

15  or not there are significant levels of disturbance in children or
whether their behaviours are developmentally appropriate, whether
they are symptomatic or not symptomatic and to that extent I have a
lot of experience with children who are displaying normal
behaviours and determining that there is a difference between

20  normal and abnormal behaviours in children.  Would you also agree
that any behaviours displayed by a child are very much dependent on
the extent of the trauma of the experience? Its a combination of
that with the personal characteristics and attributes of that
child's development and adjustment that determine how they respond

25  as well as thei rdevelopmental level because anxieties or problems
show themselves in diff. ways at diff. developmental levels.  The
term "sexual abuse" covers a multitude of behaviour, are you saying
that where a child suffers an indecent exposure by an adult then
due to the makeup of that child you may discover just the same

30  cluster of behaviours as a child who has been raped for example?
No there are a variety of factors that seem to be associated with
more serious reactions from children and these include abuse which
has occurred repeatedly over a prolonged period of time.  It
includes abuse which has been perpetrated upon a child by a parent

35  or caretaker, in other words the closer the relationship between
perpetrator and child the greater the degree of dependency of the
child on that person the more likelihood there is of serious
emotional effect to the child but also if there are acts of


                        Page 399

physical aggressional violence associated with the sexual abuse
there are more likely to be serious impacts on the child so that is
like a generalisation if one takes a large group of sexually abused
children, but within that the variability of reactions is a very

5   individual matter.  You have also referred to retractions by
children of allegations of abuse and I think you ref. to that as
being a situation where the child wishes the situation to return to
normal? Yes.  Wld you not accept that that is more pertinent in a
family situation where as a result of the child's disclosure of

10  abuse the family unit has separated as opposed to a situation where
the alleged perpetrator of the abuse has long since left the
environment and is no longer a part of that child's caregiving?  It
certainly happens commonly in that situation but it is not quite as
straightforward as that because one actually has to look at what

15  has been the impact of this disclosure on this child and all the
events that have taken place as a consequence of that disclosure
and where for a prolonged period there has as a result of the
disclosure been a considerable level of anxiety and disturbance
occurred within a family or within the child's environment as a

20  consequence of the disclosure then that has an impact on the child
and may be a motivation for withdrawing an allegation.  So again
for there to be doubt cast upon a retraction you must look back to
the background that the child is in at the time oŁ the retraction?
One has to look at the retraction in the context of the detail of

25  the disclosure and be no more ready to accept a retraction than one
has been to accept the disclosure.  In relation to Zelda
  you have advised us that being a happy and extroverted
child at creche and then becoming introverted and withdrawn once
she started school is consistent with child abuse occurring at

30  creche?  Its not just that this occurred at the time she went to
school, its also to do with what relieves the symptoms and what
happens sometimes is that once a child is out of a situation where
they have felt restrained and restricted because of the presence of
someone who has abused them, you get a reaction an emotional

35  reaction subsequently when they are released from this.  Isn't it
really inconsistent for a child who is suffering such abuse to be a
happy extroverted child pleased to go to the creche, and then to
change from being a happy extroverted child to where she goes to


                        Page 400

another school where the alleged perpetrator is no longer present?
It is not necessarily inconsistent. The issue of saying something
is consistent with abuse is not the same thing as saying it is def.
caused by abuse, it is saying just that it is consistent with

5   abuse.  In this instance that was not the only symptom that the
mother described and there were things that were occurring while
the child was at creche that the mother described part. in terms of
psychosomatic symptoms.  Do you not accept that for a child being
in an environment where alleged abuse is occurring, it would be

10  inconsistent for children who have been abused for that child to
display extroverted happy behaviour? No actually it isn't it seems
strange but that is so. Children are not necssy afraid of someone
who abuses them, some children are and some children are not and
this is partly due to the child's ability to shut unpleasant things

15  out of their mind and when there are other aspects of the
relationship that are pleasurable to the child then the child can
respond as if those are the only things that were happening.
Getting back to the gen. development levels of children of this
age, children of this age are also quite capable of supplying an

20  answer to please the questioner if they are in a formal situation
is that not correct? They can do.  But they have to know, have some
sense of what is going to please the questioner before they would
know what answer to give.  A child is capable of obtaining that
knowledge if they are asked that question sev. times throughout an

25  interview? Not if the question does not carry any hint of what the
answer might be.  For example if the child was asked whether his
pants were on or off often enough the child might provide an answer
merely to please the questioner and also have the information that
will please the questioner? What do you mean when you say have the

30  informn that wil please the questioner.  If the child is asked if
his pants were on or off and provides an inaccurate answer that the
pants were on and the question is repeated to the child again and
again the child will eventually know what the questioner requires
of him? It depends very much on the context in which the queston

35  comes up and often in interviews the interviewer will approach the
same topic from diff. directions in order to ascertain whether a
child's infrmn is consistent from one moment to another or whether
the child by approaching something in a diff. manner is able to


                        Page 401

recall something they weren't able to recall previously.  Wld you
not also accept for children of this age group the amount of
information they can recall from their pre school years will be
very very limited?  Now which age are you speaking of now, the age

5   at which the children were interviewed, the age they were in Court.
The age at which they were interviewed? Well that varies for diff.
children as to how long ago the events occurred that they were
trying to recall.  They will certainly have only limited recall of
general events that had little impact upon them but children can

10  recall given appropriate stimulus to recall events which occurred
in their pre school years and they do.  In relation to Zelda
, you found her mental attainment to be average for her
age?  Yes.  NO displays of photographic memory? I don't recall
that.  Wldn't it be unusual for a child of 8 or 9 years remembering

15  back some 5 years ago to recall over 8O single pieces of
information?  If a child were left with an open ended question that
says tell me about what you remember from creche she would recall
very little. If she is gradually assisted to stimulate her memory
through association and through going through one event after

20  another and even through going into being asked direct questions
about certain matters the amount of recall would icnrease greatly
and I can't say what no. of pieces of information she would be able
to recall. When a child is at the age of 3 years 7 months their
ability to store items of information in their long term memory is

25  exceedingly limited isn't it? It is limited.  At that age what a
child can't comprehend can't be stored? Are we speaking about
Zelda or in general.  In general terms, a child at 3 years 7
months what they can't cxomprehend would not be stored in long term
memory? It can be stored but it is more difficult to retrieve it

30  and explain it in words because it was retained at a stage where
verbal ability is relatively limited and of course that verbal
ability will vary very very much from one child to another.  Where
that memory is brought back from the long term process to short
term or working memory there are many dangers aren't there that

35  interference, suggestability can go to a restructuring of the
memory rather than a recall of the trace that the child had? REcall
is the process of restructuring the memory, putting it into words,
describing it according to a person's current level of


                        Page 402

understanding, that is a normal process.  And people's abilities
whatever age vary in being able to do that but we have to remember
firstly that we are not just talking of children who were 3 years
and 7 months but we are talking of children who were up to the age

5   of 5 years or even older and we are talking about events which
would have had an increasing level of significance for the child
and an increasing therefore an increasing emotional impact on the
child over that period of time so that these things impact upon the
child's ability both to process and encode the events in memory and

10  also to have the information to recall at a later stage given
appropriate motivation and stimulus to do so.  For the child who is
aged 3 years and 7 months that is much more limited than the child
aged 4 years 4 months or 6 months? The ability to do that increases
with age.  Where you are dealing with material that is well over a

15  year in terms of time in the memory, even at that length of time
memory is subject to contamination do you not accept? What do you
mean by contamination. Again it is subject to what is described as
source amnesia and reconstruction as its brought back through to
the working memory? One of the most problemmatic things is with the

20  passage of time the fall off in the actual amount that can be
remembered in terms of detail or even actual incidents.  The issue
of restructuring the memory is not as problemmatic as the decay,
the fall off with time.  It has been shown experimentally that
children can and do recall accurate information.  What happens is

25  that they recall less with the passage of time.    Where a child at
the age of 6 years provides a massive amount of material from 2
years ago, that also can be indicative of a form of contamination
as that memory is brought forward due to the sheer weight or amount
of evidence the child has to recall? It depends how that recall has

30  been stimulated and what that particular child's memories were at
the time of the events they are describing. It also depends if you
are talking about the central events or what amounts to peripheral
detail and there is more likely to be variability in the peripheral
detail than central detail.  Where we talked about pathological

35  forgetting last time that was state bound in terms of the memory
being tied to the emotions at the time the memory is encapsulated
in the long term memory, when that is recalled you would expect
those emotions to show wouldn't you? Commonly.  So in the case of a


                        Page 403

child describing a burning piece of paper being placed between
their buttocks you would expect that child to display when
recounting that event fear and the trauma that occurred at the time
the event actually happened? it depends on the child's defence

5   mechanisms and their ability to cut themselves off from
overwhelming emotions.  And we have discussed at some length some
of the various mechanisms like dissociation, denial, displacement,
various things that enable a child to in fact recall an event
without necessarily allowing themselves to experience the emotion

10  that went with that event so some people will become extremely
distressed, others may seem inappropriately detached when they
describe an event which occurred.  Dr Le Page will say that where a
child has used a defence mechanism under pathological forgetting
when that memory is recalled what will come with it is either all

15  or some of the emotional aspects of that event itself so that he
will say it is inconsistent for a child in an interview situation
where they are recounting such experiences not to display some of
the fear or distress that was associated with the original event,
would you accept that?  That is so a lot of the time and for a lot

20  of children, but one does have to look very carefully at how that
is manifested so that it may not show by the child suddenly
becoming wide eyed and staring and fearful, it may show by the
child becoming regressed, listless, a change in the pattern of
their motor activity or a change in their speech, the way they talk

25  or the speed with which they talk or the tone in which they talk: so
there are a variety of ways in which the child might display that
distress other than the overt way that you may be ref to.  I think
you would accept for many people when they are speaking for the
first time to someone else explaining an emotional sitn those

30  emotions will revisit them and quite often you would see someone
recounting a traumatic event that has happened to them showiong
emotion in terms of tears, shaking, crying as they recount the
traumatic event, you would accept that wldn't you? Only some
because I see many who cannot in fact do that until they have been

35  in therapy in a trusting relationship for a considerable period of
time and although the facts come back into memory it can be a long
time before the person feels safe enough in their own integrity of
themselves as a person to actually be able to experience the


                        Page 404

emotions that went with those events.  You would accept that for
these defence mechanisms to activate in a young child that the
stress associated with bringing out those defence mechanisms must
be reasonably severe? Say that again.  You would accept that where

5   threat stress that causes pathological forgetting comes into play
so that a young child forgets what has happened, the stress must be
of such a high magnitude to bring that forgetting into play? It
must be of a reasonable magnitude yes.

10  ADJOURNED:  1.00


                        Page 405

RESUMED:    2.15
We were talking about threat stress and how that affects a memory
which for reason due to threat has been put to one side so that is
not part of the person's conscious memory but when that memory is

5   recalled then you would expect to see the symptoms of the initial
reaction of the child in recalling that event, do you accept that?
I gave quite a lengthy explanation before which qualified that view
and I don't accept it in its entirety, it may or may not for
various reasons be that the child demonstrates immediately the

10  feelings associated with the original event.  If there was a
situation where a child did display such behaviour then you would
expect to see in the interview the real expression of fear or anger
or the initial reaction at the time of the event during the course
of the interview? You have to remember that if this in fact is not

15  the first time the child has talked about these events then some of
those initial emotions may have been displayed previously and by
the time the child recounts the information to the interviewer they
may be considerably more composed about it.  For children of this
age the mere fact of going into an interview can be a stressful

20  situation in itself? It can be.  Hence once the interview has
passed the child may feel a great sense of relief? Only if the
actual experience was a fearful one.  There is a difference between
being anxious about a situation before you get to it or when first
there till you become familiar with it but during the course of

25  that interview and with the interviewer putting the child at ease
with the child finding there are age appropriate things present in
the interviewing room the child is not necssy made anxious by the
actual interview process and interview situation.  Perhaps by way
of example a student going into an exam, will show signs of

30  anxiousness, once the exam. is over and they come out the other
side they may well show signs of great relief? If the situation is
an anxiety provoking one.  However with interviewes of children
which are conducted in an appropriate manner the interview itself
is not an anxious making experience for the child so the analogy is

35  not actually the same, not accurate. So for a young child to be
sep. from its parents, are you saying, placed in a room with a
camera and asked all sorts of questions by someone they have only
met briefly before, isn't an anxious experience for that child? For


                        Page 406

For the child the interview situation isn't exactly the same.
Firstly one has to consider the age of the child and when you say
young children these children ware 5 to 6 years of age which is not
young in terms of a child's ability to be able to separate from the

5   parent.  Secondly, the child was there with a parent with a
parent's approval and the child had the parent's approval to go
with the interviewer into a room by themselves and to talk about
matters which the child may already have discussed with a parent or
disclosed to a parent.  So the interview wasn't like tearing a

10  child apart from the parent and it wasn't like asking a 2 year old
or 1 year old to separate from a parent and go to another room with
a strange person.  Child of this age are used to being at school.
They are used to at times being with unfamiliar adults and most
children can cope with that situation.   As well as that, the

15  interview process itself is attuned to children and the environment
is not frightening to children and commonly in fact is quite
intriguing to children of this age.  Apparently these children were
going to talk about a subject which was meant to be very stressful
for them, they I would submit to you at the age or 5 or 6 would be

20  very unused to going into a situation alone by themselves with
their parent not being beside them and being asked a lot of
questions by an adult, that situation would in fact cause a certain
levewl of anxiety in any child? One is able to see in a number of
interviews with these children that it is not the interview process

25  or the interview situation that is anxiety provoking to the child.
It is the particular subject matter and when the interviewer
responds to evidence of the child's anxiety or distress and moves
away and into a more neutral subject or into playing for a brief
period, then the child is able to relax and those symptoms of

30  anxiety are no longer apparent.  I think the very fact that many of
these children express a readiness to come hack to another
interview or make a comment about the interviewer being a nice
person, things like that indicate that the interview itself is not
distressing to the child.  Children of this age are becoming more

35  aware of what is and is not socially acceptable? Thats correct.
Therefore certain subjects could cause them embarrassment? Certain
subjects do cause children of this age embarrassment. Embarrassment
per se is different from distress and one egos that embarrassment


                        Page 407

sometimes when a child requires reassurance that it is all right to
use rude words or name different parts of the body.  We talked
earlier about a situation where parents questioned their children,
I believe your comment was that one would expect to see adult

5   language being used by the child as a description of events had the
parent questioned or taught the child about sexual abuse, is that
right? Yes it would be reflected in their language, either in the
terminology or the phraseology of what they are saying.  What would
the situation be if the parent questioned the child using the

10  child's own language?  It would be more difficult to determine from
the actual terminology that the child used but it is still likely
that the fluency and the complexity of the sentences and the
grammar would be greater where the child is repeating something
that an adult has said to them.  That grammar and sentence

15  structure would be very difficult to ascertain for a child who is
merely providing affirmative answers or a series of affirmative
answers to a series of multi choice or direct questions? It would
be more difficult under those circumstances in that particular
passage of a child's account.  Prior to lunch we raised the issue

20  that children of this age are able to visualise in their mind a
concept that has been presented to them such as a penis going into
a mouth? Yes.  Children of this age are also are they not capable
of building on that particular visualisation and being able to
verbalise what they can see in their mind's eye? They will only see

25  in their mind's eye what they are able to visualise, in other words
what is consistent with information that they are able to derive
from their daily living.  Children of this age are also able to
fantasise about particular instances, for example a child may be
able to create a whole story around an isolated incident, for

30  example the night the tooth fairy came to visit? They can only
though give information within that creation that is available to
them, is in their minds from experience.  So that ability to create
does not include an ability to know things that they don't or to
imagine things that they don't know.  The idea of a tooth fairy

35  wouldn't be something they would know? It is not something they
would think up if somebody had not made it a part of the culture of
that child over a particulr period of time and if the child didn't
have any "evidence" of the tooth fairy by having a tooth disappear


                        Page 408

and money appear instead.  Applying that to a situation where
through leading and persistent questioning about sexual abuse of a
child do you not accept that the child is also able to create a
scenario around the information they are provided with? That is not

5   my experience, I don't accept that.  Miss Sidey has indicated in
her evidence that she raised the issue with you about the meeting
at the civic creche in a period of supervision, do you recall what
advice you gave to her?  Not specifically no.  It was probably to
do with speaking in general terms about matters and trying to

10  encourage parents not to be trying to interview their own children.
Very much along the lines of the information you provided on the
Holmes Show? Only in general terms.   Would the information you
provided when responding to questions from the floor at the Knox
Hall  Church also have been in general terms? To the extent that

15  that was possible yes.  Its very difficult when you have got a room
full of anxious parents wanting specific answers to be able to give
very broad and general answers that don't satisfy them because of
their generality but to the extent that this was possible then it
is those sort of answers that were given at that meeting.  I asked

20  you earlier about the profile of the sexually abused child, did you
obtain that information from your study time in the United States?
Not just from there, I have read many articles and writings by
other experienced researchers.   Do you know who is regarded as the
inventor of the syndrome sexually abused child syndrome? I am not

25  sure what you mean by that.  In its typical form the sexually
abused child syndrome is merely the notion that there are a set of
behavioural characteristics such as you described, signs or
symptoms typical of children who have been sexually abused, with
that definition do you understand what I am saying when I ref. to

30  the sexually abused child syndrome? Yes.  Are you also aware that
the use of such a syndrome has been largely discouraged and
discredited in the US because it    the Frye test? I am very aware
from my own experience as well as from my reading that it is
inappropriate to diagnose sexual abuse solely on the basis of

35  behaviour symptoms and that is not something that I would do, it is
diff. from looking at what behavioural symptoms there may be in a
child who is also disclosing evidence of child sexual abuse
verbally or through their demonstrations.  Do you know why it has


                        Page 409

been discredited in the US under the Frye test? I don't know what
the Frye test is.  In 1923 there was a case in the US which tested
whether or not the use of lie detectors was acceptable or not and
under that test it was decided that where there was a conflict of

5   expert evidence as to the reliability of the material that was
brought forward then the prejudicial effect of the material
outweighed its probative value in that the use of such material
could not be relied upon because the scientific community did not
have a common agreement over its reliability - discontinued.

10  Do you accept there is a conflict of opinion over the use of the
sexually abused child syndrome as I defined it for you? That is not
a term that I use.  Therefore I have some difficulty in responding
to you because by asking me the question in fact it seems to be
implying that this is a view that I am holding or promulgating.  To

15  clarify that for you would you not accept that there is a division
of opinion over the use of behavioural characteristics as being
indicative or consistent with child sexual abuse such as the
indicators you have described? There is a very big diff. between
saying something is indicative of abuse and saying it is or may be

20  consistent with abuse and I think that the difference of opinion
that you are alluding to in my experience is to do with the way in
which one applies and makes use of the behavioural information from
the child.  In your evidence Monday last about interviews you ref.
to the use of anatomically correct dolls, wld you accept such dolls

25  could be suggestive to a child? I don't accept that and the recent
research suggests that isn't so.  However because of the quite
commonly held but uninformed view that they are suggestive I do not
encourage interviewers to use anatomically correct dolls in the
first instance with a child but to use them after a child has made

30  a disclosure of abuse either in the interview or to some person
outside the interview and where a child is then not giving that
same information in the interview or where it is clear that it is
going to assist the child to describe or demonstrate something
which has occurred once the child has indicated that it has

35  occurred.  Ref. to specific children wld you accept Zelda
showed some signs of immaturity considering her as a 10
year old child? You are talking about at the time she presented in
Court. Yes? She showed some degree of cognitive immaturity yes.


                        Page 410

Would you accept also that the behaviour she displayed while at
creche is inconsistent with a child who has suffered sexual abuse
at the creche? No.  Would you also accept that the stress headaches
she suffered could also be consistent with emotional trauma in the

5   family?  If one takes any particular symptom and looks at it in
isolation it is possible that it could have been caused by a
variety of different things.  The issue is to look at all of the
behavioural symptoms that a child displays and have that alongside
the information that the child is giving verbally about what has

10  occurred.  Bearing that in mind, you would also be referring then
to her changing behaviour when she went to primary school? Yes. Wld
you not also accept that that could be a symptom of anxiety where a
child leaves a stable environment and goes to an environment that
is new and fearful for her?  One has to look at the sequence of

15  events as well and also what relieves those events.  And the
mother's evidence was that the counselling which was aimed at the
effects of abuse relieved those symptoms in the child.  It was also
would you not agree a situation where the child has also had a lot
more input from the mother to the child? I don't know.

20  Ref. to Molly Sumach, would you not accept that a fear of toilets
is quite common in young children? No I don't.  Are you saying that
for a young child to be scared of a toilet is quite uncommon and
unheard of? I am not saying it is unheard of.  I am saying that I
do not accept that it is a common event and where a child

25  particularly becomes familiar with a particular toilet over a
period of time even if they might have some initial reluctance they
will generally become familiar with that toilet and be comfortable
with it.  Children are not usually afraid of toilets in the places
where they are cared for.  Ref. to a common parenting magazine

30  published in March 1993 under the aspects of practical psychology
they refer to a fear of toilets when talking about fears children
suffer? What age.  They refer to the age as not specific on the age
but they refer to children having fears in relation to an adult
sized toilet bowl - discontinued,

35  Have you ever read Practical Parenting a magazine published in
England, the particular author of Practical Psychology was Dr
Richard Wolfson? I am not familiar with that person.  He makes a
comment that there are years for fears and he refers to the fact


                        Page 411

that at the age of 2 years children tend to develop a fear of the
dark would you agree with that? Yes.  At the age oŁ 3 years they
have a fear of animals, the dark and imaginary creatures? Yes. At
the age of 4 years he refers to the dark now extending to a fear of

5   ghosts and monsters? Thats correct.  At the age of 5 years he
refers to imaginary creatures and animals and visiting the dr or
dentist? Sometimes. Under what he refers to common childhood fears
he refers to water, insects, darkness, toilets, separation and also
hospitals, would you accept they are common fears children have? It

10  depends on the ages of the children and I think to label them with
one word just like that can be very misleading.  Would you accept
though for a reference in a parental, practical parenting magazine
to refer to a fear of toilets may not be as uncommon as you lead us
to believe? I think it depends, if you are talking about children

15  in the process of being toilet trained that is a very different
 matter than talking about a 4 year old.    Wld you also accept in
relation to Molly Sumach that tantrums can also be a behaviour
consistent with other forms of anxiety or stress in a child's life
other than sexual abuse? Yes.  As I said earlier it is age

20  appropriate round 18 month or 2 years, 2 and 1/2 years but it
doesn't normally progress into late pre school or school age.
Ref. to Eli Laurel, you have ref. to a behaviour of sexualised
behaviour as being consistent with child abuse, would you accept
that the behaviour that you are ref. to is not entirely sexualised

25  behaviour? There is more sexualised behaviour or more highly
sexualised behaviour but it is certainly sexualised behaviour.  It
is unusual to tell people I'll stick my finger up your bottom as he
apparently did to his father when he was 4.  It is unsuual for
children to cross boundaries and actually unzip the trousers of men

30  whom they know.  Around this age isn't it also usual for children
of about 4-6 years of age to take an interest in the genitalia of
the same sex parent as a means of identification of their maleness?
Not really, what they are more interested in is at an earlier stage
when they start to appreciate not everybody has the same apparatus

35  and around that pre school age they may be interested for instance
in going to the toilet with their father if they are male and be
interested in the way the father's penis works and what it looks
like in comparison with their own.  Children are not consciously


                        Page 412

and deliberately interested in their identification with their
fathers, boys I should say with their fathers as males till later
than that and around the 5 to 6 age little boys are quite strongly
identified with their mothers.  Even though they know they are

5   boys.  The sexualised behaviour you referred to also involved the
masturbation in the back seat of a car? Yes.  And that I think you
accepted earlier is something children can learn for themselves?
Its not ordinarily something they do in public, its not ordinarily
something they will persist with when another person asks them to

10  stop it and as I recall there was also the suggestion he might have
been inviting the other children to touch his penis when
masturbating. I believe it was to look at it? So that takes it out
of the realm of ordinary age appropriate masturbation.  There is
only one occasion that his mother refers to isn't there where he

15  masturbates in front of other people? There is only one episode the
Court has been told about yes.  If that behaviour had been more
prevalent or he had done it on more than one occasion that would
raise a situation where it is more beyond the realms of or
likelihood of a childhood behaviour and bring it more into the

20  terms of behaviour consistent with sexual abuse? In my opinion the
behaviour he demonstrated even on that one occasion is not
appropriate and if one considers in conjunction with the other
things you identified as lesser matters it is an indicn this
child's sexualised behaviours have been significant and been in

25  evidence on a no. of occasions.  This as the child whose mother
separated from him for 3 weeks of one year when she went to
University overseas, do you recall that in the evidence? I recall
that.  Such a separation anxieties are common in young children
aren't they? Sepn anxiety is common in young children, its less

30  common in a 4 year old than 1, 2, 3 year old.  It also depends very
much on who is caring for the child in the absence of that person
that they are attached to so that its very different to have a
child cared for at home by the remaining parent than for instance
to be put in foster care for 3 weeks.  I think you mentioned

35  earlier that for a young child question of time they don't have any
concept of the question of time so therefore 3 weeks would seem
like a long time to a young child? Yes it would but a 3 year old is
able to retain in its memory the image of a parent for 3 weeks


                        Page 413

without any difficulty and to be able to understand the concept
that the person would be returning and this diminishes the risk of
the child being unduly disturbed by the separation.  This
particular instance that particular aspect of Eli's behaviour

5   was not examined in interviews was it? What particular aspect.
Whether or not he had any anger or disturbance in relation to the
sepn from his mother? No that was not discussed.
Ref. to Julian Yew, you referred to under the behavioural
matters prior to the child going to creche he was affectionate,

10  loving and then became removed and sep. which you regard as
consistent with child abuse? Its the behavioural change in the
child which should not in the ordinary course of events occur and
in itself is consistent with child sexual abuse having occurred in
that venue.  Is it not also consistent with a child who for the

15  first 3 years of its life has had the same care giver and then
loses that care giver as well as having another child fighting for
or taking up his mother's affections? It is not a usual occurrence
no.  Was that something that was pursued or examined with this
child in the interview, the fact that he had been separated from

20  his mother for increasing periods of time from age 3-5? Its not
something one would expect a child of that age to be able to
comment on and the experience of sepn at 3 is not something one
would expect a child1 to be able to comment on partic. when it is
not a complete sepn, that person is still available and taking care

25  of the child, a continuing relationship with the mother in spite of
the fact for part of the child's day they are in the care of
another person.  Combined with that you have a 1 year old child
which will be taking up more of the mother's time? This is a very
common situation.

30  Ref, to Bart Dogwood, under his emotional maturity and mental
capability did you also form a view this child may be suffering
mental illness during the time of his interviews? No I did not.
You have ref. to his behaviour after his first interview where his
toileting regressed and his behaviour became quite difficult for

35  his parents, did you take into account in considering that the
amount Of questioniong the child had from his mother in that
according to her evidence over that period of time she was asking
the child at least once or twice a week about whether any abuse had


                        Page 414

occurred at creche? Yes I did take that into account.  Would you
accept that depending on the level of anxiety that created in the
child that could also be a cause of the child's regression? I
accept it could be a contributing factor, not just the questioning

5   but the anxiety that developed in the child as a consequence of the
disclosures he was making at that time.  At the tame I am referring
to the child was not making any disclosures? When are you ref. to.
The regression of his toileting behaviour occurred after his first
interview and prior to his second?  Are you saying he was making no

10  disclosures, no discn between the first and second interview. That
is the information we have? I am not quite with you. According to
the mother's evidence after the child's first Interview she
continued to ask the child whether he had more to say about Peter
Ellis and the civic creche and from her recollection it was either

15  once or twice a week she asked him these questions? Yes. Throughout
all of this time our understanding of the evidence is that the
child did not talk about the creche until the night of the 4th
August? If the child had made a disclosure which was the basis for
the mother's questioning so one would anticipate that whenever the

20  matter was raised that would bring those matters back into the
child's mind, whether he said anything new or he didn't, and it is
that response to the recall memories that are stirred by the
questions which in my opinion are likely to account for his
behavioural disturbances.  It doesn't let the child put that to one

25  side but keeps it fresh.  Bart Dogwood Dr Le Page will say in his
interviews shows behaviour that is inconsistent with a child that
has been sexually abused in that he shows a total lack of affect
throughout his 3 interviews, what is yr opinion on that? I don't
agree with it, I believe he does show affect in a variety of ways,

30  partic. the affect of anxiety and he demonstrates that in a variety
Of ways some of them aggressive, changes in the way he expresses
himself, the way he uses or stops using materials that are there to
assist him.  I disagree that he shows no signs of affect in his
interviews.  Again we come back to the situation where  you are

35  ref. to state bound memories, the description that the child
supplies are quite graphic and horrific accounts and in terms of
the physical injuries he sustained, if the child is recounting such
matters in interview then one would expect for the behaviour to be


                        Page 415

consistent with a child who has been sexually abused some real
evidence of the fear or the pain or trauma that occurred at the
time? Firstly I don't believe that there has been evidence that he
did sustain horrific injuries as you suggest.  There appears to be

5   no objective evidence the child did suffer physical injury.
Secondly there is considerable evidence in his interviews of
defence mechanisms utilised to protect him from overwhelming
anxiety and these inevitably protect the child by diminishing or
even excluding a display of strong emotion.  In relation to a child

10  who has suffered a needle being placed up his penis so that it
bled, many times of sodomy - Mr Stanaway objects.
He also referred to burning paper being placed on his bottom so
that it bled, these injuries would cause considerable trauma in a
child, if such a child was to suppress those memories then bring

15  them out at a later stage would you not expect to see when the
child is referring to those aspects of the fear, the pain and the
trauma that caused the child to suppress or repress those memories
in the first place? As I have already explained that may be so but
if a person has very strong defence mechanisms to protect

20  themselves from the feelings that may overwhelm them then you may
not see a display of emotion that you might expect under those
circumstances. There was evidence from Bart's behaviour that he
was in particular using obsessional defence mechanisms in some of
his interviews.

25  Ref. to Tess Hickory, you referred to the behaviour ref. to by the
mother as being sexualised behaviour and ref. to the fact that she
methodically washed her mother in the bath as being part of the
behaviour you regarded as sexualised behaviour is that correct? The
mother described that the child washed her genital area and I

30  consider that to be part of that.  So if any parent washed their
child's genitals? No the child washed the mother's genitals. And
the child as a result of that washed the parent's genitals that is
sexualised behaviour? No that is not what I am saying, one has to
look at the whole sequence of events and it was not put to us by

35  the mother that she washed the child's genitals and then the child
washed the mother's genitals. That would be one source of where the
child would learn about having their genitals washed would you
agree? By having their own genitals washed, yes that is correct.


                        Page 416

Where a child is at a very young age encouraged to perform by its
parents and then as it grows older becomes fearful of that that is
not always consistent with child abuse? What do you mean by
perform. Where a child is encouraged to perhaps sing or dance in

5   front of people? No it isn't.  In relation to Abigail Fir,
factors of being anxious at bedtime and anxious about toilet and
suffering nightmares can also be consistent with other anxieties
the child may be suffering? Its an unusual constellation of
anxieties and taken together with the matters the child has

10  disclosed it makes it likely to be associated with abuse.   In
relation to Yelena Holly, the behaviour that the mother has
referred to in terms of bed wetting, refusing to sleep in her own
bed are behaviours that have always existed with the child is that
correct in your memory? The child had delayed toilet training yes.

15  Delayed competency in that area.  So she is not one of the children
who had become continent and then regressed as some of the others
had, she failed to gain continence.  Could those behavioural
aspects also be consistent with other trauma or anxiety in her
life? Which ones.  The inability to develop her toileting and her

20  inability to sleep in her own bed? Well if that were the only signs
she showed then it is possible they might be due to other things,
where a child displays behaviours after interviews or after
disclosure and these behaviours persist in the home but do not
continue at school, is that not also an indicator that the

25  behaviour refers more to the home than the whole of the child's
life? No not necessarily because the school environment may be just
so separate that it doesn't remind the child of the abusive events.
Ref. to Lara Palm and Derek Ngaio, Derek first, were
there any behaviours from your viewing of his tapes or from the

30  evidence given by his mother you regarded as inconsistent with
sexual abuse? There were times he could speak normally about all
kinds of things. Is that consistent with sexual abuse? It may be
consistent or inconsistent, its just normal behaviour.  His mother
also gave evidence that he regressed at primary school, his

35  behaviour regressed, would that be a behaviour consistent or
inconsistent with sexual abuse? What particular thing are you ref.
to.  This was the evidence of the mother when she referred to
comments from teachers saying he seemed to be withdrawn from other


                        Page 417

children after his first term at school?  If I recall the mother
said that she found out about it at the end or the first term when
the school spoke about it with her but if I recall she indicated
that she wasn't saying it didn't happen till the end of the first

5   term, that is when she found out about it so it may well have been
occurring through that period of time since he started school and
left the creche.  In terms of his intell. attainment, mental
ability and emotional maturity would you not accept this partic.
child has great diff. in relating to people  and not objects? I

10  don't think there is evidence of that, he seemed to relate to the
interviewer satisfactorily in the interviews.
Ref. to Kari Lacebark, you would accept that of the behavioural
indicators the fact that the child was a slow developer could also
be consistent with other matters other than sexual abuse? Yes.  One

15  would not then expect a sudden change or sudden improvement as
described by the mother in association with the disclosure
interviews.  In relation to tantrums, that also can be consistent
with other matters other than sexual abuse? Yes it can and again
that is why one has to look at the whole constellation of

20  behavioural symptoms a child presents rather than look at them in
isolation.  This child's reluctance to stay in the interview
initially could also be seen as consistent with a child who was
uncomfortable with the interivew itself? I don't accept that
because as soon as the interviewer changed the subject the child

25  was quite comfortable and prepared to come back again.
Ref. to Lara Palm, the behaviours you saw in relation
to this child as being consistent with an abused child was firstly
a delay in the disclosure of abuse? That is so for all of the
children yes.    The other behavioural aspects that you referred to

30  in relation to this particular child again was that in relation to
a fear of sleeping alone? There are a no. of problems that the
child demonstrated, they included nightmares and waking fromo 4
years onwards to the extent that she was so afraid that she was
unable to remain in her own room at nighttime and started to sleep

35  with her brother as I recall in his room and that the sleeping
difficulty had stopped in 1992 with counselling and had then
recurred to some degree prior to this Court hearing.  These
behaviours once again can be consistent with other forms of anxiety


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and also with natural fears all children have? One has to look,
thats why I said before just mentioning a word or topic like that
can be misleading because one must look at all the behaviours of
the child, one must look at the severity of the symptom and one

5   must look at the consistency of that symptom over time and I would
suggest that the symptoms as described in relation to this child
are not normal behaviours of normal intensity and normal duration.

10  ADJOURNED:  3.30


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RESUMED:    3.45
In relation to the information concerning behavioural indicator
characteristics of children which are consistent or inconsistent
with abuse much of that material has to come from the parents is

5   that correct? Yes it is.  In relation to general matters, you
mentioned Monday last week you were the supervisor of the
interviewers at the DSW specialist Services Unit? Yes I am. What
does supervision involve? It involves meeting either as a group of
interviewers with me or from time to time individually with me and

10  discussing aspects of their work, looking at pieces of videotaped
interviews that they have done, particularly with regard to
technique or if they found a child difficult to communicate with
looking at how that might have been achieved more effectively.  On
occasion looking at something that a child has said or a piece of

15  non verbal information that a child has given by demonstrating
something and helping them to appraise what steps if any should be
recommended on the basis of that communication from the child.  It
includes more general discussion of matters to do with sexual abuse
or to do with something the interviewers or I have been reading,

20  journal articles etc.  How often would supervision take place
throughout the year? Whenever I am available I meet either with the
group or with an individual each week and because there are a no.
of people employed in the Service their opportunity for an
individual session only comes round every 6 or 8 weeks or so.  As

25  part of your role with the DSW do you also train interviewers? I
have not participated in any of the nationally organised formal
training sessions that have been held.  Do you give training on a
more formal basis? Well supervision as I have described it to you
has a training element in it and I have from time to time been

30  invited to participate in seminars or workshops perhaps associated
with conferences in this area which could be seen in a broader
sense as being seen to raise the skill level of itnerviewers and
could be seen as training.  Ihave in the past also done this more
formally in the service I worked in when I was at Child and Family

35  Guidance Centre.  Have you ever conducted formal training
interviews for interviews? I have participated in a number of
events at Police National HQ in the past.  Since the 1990
regulations came in I have not as far as I recal1 been involved in


                        Page 420

any formal training sessions or programmes for interviewers.  Prior
to 1990 would you have given training to interviewers in
Christchurch such as Ward 24 interviewers?  I may have, I think I
once visited the ward and talked in general terms about sexual

5   abuse and management of sexual abuse in that setting.  I haven't
conducted any formal or ongoing training course for Ward 24
interviews.  That ward 24 was prior to the regulations coming in?
Yes.  You were also involved in the committee or the group that
recommended the final form of s.23G? Yes committee with an

10  improbable name.  You were involved in that throughout 1988 and
1989? Yes. And therefore your understanding of s.23G would be
perhaps more comprehensive than most peoples? My understanding of
the rationale for advocating change to the Evidence Regns as they
concern children certainly is broader, probably my understanding of

15  23G would be broader than many people but the committee was not
involved in the actual formulation of what later became law, it was
formulating the rationale, providing the forum for discussion
between the different groups that are involved in making the
decisions regarding the need for change and reviewing the

20  literature and practices in other jurisdictions to help advise law
makers.  You have given evidence often in Court under s.23G? No not
often.  Prior to 1991 you would have given evidence quite often in
Court in relation to child abuse matters? Only a few times in
criminal courts, because at that stage there was very limited

25  provision for specialist evidence in this area and most of the
experience that I have had of actually being present in giving
evidence in Court has been in relation to these matters has been in
Children and YOung Persons court and Family Court and hence some of
the diffs. in coming to grips with the limitations of the s.23G

30  provisions.  One of the cases you would have given evidence in the
criminal Court would be in relation to cases that arose from ward
24? In criminal Court.  Yes?   - Disallowed.
Earlier today my learned friend ref. you to what he called the

35  sexual abuse child syndrome prior to today had you ever heard that
label? No I hadn't and when he did raise it earlier on today he
made it sound as though it was the same thing as the child sexual
abuse accommodation syndrome which once he defined it clearly it


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was not.  From my learned friend's definition of that so called
syndrome what was your understanding of what he was ref. to? I
understood him to be referring to saying that if children displayed
certain b ehavioural symptoms that constitutes a syndrome which

5   indicates they have been sexually abused. Have you attempted at any
stage to diagnose with regards to any of these children whether or
not they have been abused solely on the basis of behavioural
indicators? No definitely not.  When you have given evidence about
whether something is consistent or inconsistent with sexual abuse

10  what is the def. of consistency you have been using? That it occurs
in a significant proporn of seuxally abused children and therefore
it is not in conflict with the possibility that abuse has occurred
in other words it does not conflict in any way the allegation of
sexual abuse that has occurred and perhaps increased or is

15  consistent with it.  If my learned friend had put a no. of
behavioural indicators to you and asked you wehther they were
consistent or inconsistent with sexual abuse would you have been
able to respond? Yes I would.  To your knowledge would there be a
range of behaviour inconsistent with sexual abuse of children of

20  that age? Insofar as the majority of those behaviours that are
found are age appropriate demonstrations of anxiety and distress in
a child then any one of them alone could be caused at some point by
some other precipitating factor so it really isn't possible to say
that there is another group of symptoms that would not be

25  consistent with child sexual abuse.  There are things that would be
inconsistent for instance would be things that perhaps are entirely
due to say intellectual retardation, that is something that is from
within the child and is not affected in a gross sense by
environmental factors so if something were due primarily to a

30  child's very low intelligence then that would be inconsistent buyt
there are not very many behavioural features one could say were
totally inconsistent. One of the things that has to be remembered
also is that many of those symptoms are actually appropriate under
certain circumstances. It is appropriate to be afraid at times. If

35  someone prevented you going to the toilet for 24 hours chances are
you would wet your pants, there are certain circumstances so you
can't just take that symptom in isolation without knowing how
persistent and evasive it is and what other things are present in


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the child, what changes there are that are inconsistent with their
normal patterns of behaviour what things a child is saying they all
have to be taken together.