The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 Jan-May

The Press
26 February, 1993.

Assault of creche worker not proved

A man charged with assaulting the male defendant in the Christchurch Civic Child Care Centre child abuse case last year has had the charge against him dismissed.

After hearing all evidence Judge Costigan in the Christchurch District Court yesterday ruled that there was no prima facie case for the defendant to answer.

The defendant Alexander James Bass, aged 21, had pleaded not guilty to a charge that he assaulted Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis in November last year.

Evidence was given that early in the morning of November 8 a group of four men broke into Ellis's flat and assaulted him and a flatmate, David Allan Rickard.

In initial testimony Mr Rickard said that he had seen Bass throw a punch at Ellis.

Under cross-examination he conceded that the circumstances of the attack had been confused and that he could not recall seeing Bass attack Ellis.

The attackers had been both drunk and angry.

He had been hit in the face and knocked to the floor in a defensive posture early in the attack.

Peter Ellis testified that he had been in bed asleep on the morning of the attack.

He got up when he heard angry voices and began to go to the connecting door between the lounge and kitchen.

He had at first just heard noises and arguing, but nothing specific, he said.

When he neared the door he realised that the mood of the visitors was angry
He had heard the glass in the front door smashing and had gone back into the kitchen to ring the polite for help.

He had then been assaulted and could only recall two of his assailants clearly.

These two, former next door neighbours had been convicted in earlier proceedings.

He was unable to recognise the defendant as one of his attackers in this case.

Ellis had suffered cuts and abrasions to his right arm and hand a cut across his nose and extensive bruising.

He had lost his glasses at some stage when he was being assaulted by the men.

During the attack he had been knocked from a standing position on to a sofa and then on to the floor.

He had been hit about the head with two rough cut fence pilings punched and kicked.

The injuries had not been treated at Christchurch Hospital which had been very busy when he had sought medical attention. The injuries had been treated at the Bealev Avenue medical centre the next day.