The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 Jan-May

The Press
May 4 1993

Mother disbelieved crèche daughter

A mother took a year to believe the sex abuse indicated by a child complainant, the trial of a child care worker in the High Court was told yesterday.

The mother of the fifth complainant in the trial of Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis, aged 35, said she and her daughter were having a bath together when her daughter talked about a day where she had gone to Ellis's house and bathed with him.

Her daughter had acted out postures which suggested oral sex and sexual intercourse, the woman said. She had not wanted to believe what she was seeing, and it had really taken her a year to believe it.

Ellis denies 28 charges of sexually abusing children at the Christchurch Civic Crèche between 1986 and 1992.

The complainant, a seven-year-old girl, in an interview recorded in August last year and played to the court, said Ellis had made her "drink his wees". He had been sitting on a toilet in the crèche when he had "weed on her face".

She said both that Ellis had been sitting and standing during the incident and that "wees" had gone and not gone into her mouth. When asked what happened afterwards, her first answer was that she had gone off playing, but later she said he had made her "clean it up".

She had seen the same thing happen to two other girls at the crèche, and she said that Ellis's pants were off but also on during the incident. She had seen "wees no actually poos come out", she said.

Ellis had told her that her mother would not love her any more if she told anyone about the incident, the girl told the interviewer.

She had also gone to "Peter's house" and first said, "We did not do anything else but ride the horse." Questioned further, she said Ellis had asked her if she wanted a bath and, she had undressed and bathed with him. He did "wees no poos" in the bath.

He had washed her bottom and she had washed numerous parts of his body. When referred to his penis, she said she had washed that too. First she said she had washed her own vagina but then that Peter had.

She described various positions in the bath that Ellis had adopted and said that was "sexing". His penis had touched her vagina, she said.

Ellis had also taken her and other children to his bach but they had had happy times there, she said. When the interviewer said "Mum" had told her something else had touched her vagina, the complainant said Ellis had put "needles up her bum" and there had been lots of blood.

Ellis faces charges of doing an indecent act, inducing an indecent act, and attempted sexual intercourse as a result of the interviews.

Questioned by Mr Brent Stanaway for the Grown, the complainant said she had not told her parents about the abuse because she was too young. Ellis had "threatened to kill our mothers if we told on him", she said.

In cross-examination by Mr Robert Harrison for Ellis, the girl said talking to another complainant in the case had helped her remember about the needle and Ellis putting his penis against her vagina.

On the day of the bath she had gone to the country in a horse and carriage with Ellis and had also gone to Orana Park In a van.

If Ellis said the events which she alleged had not happened, "it's not true", she said.

She had had her feet together when Ellis had touched her vagina with his penis, she said.

Her mother (the names of complainants and parents are suppressed) said her daughter had left the crèche In November 1990. During the interview process, her daughter started being frightened at night and she had twice scratched the word "help" into the woodwork at home.

She had always been quiet after attending crèche, and problems with soreness in the genital area had reoccurred during the interview process. When her daughter had disclosed to her In the bath, she had not known about the allegations against Ellis In any detail, she said.

They had prepared a couple of booklets together to get all the information about Ellis into perspective.