The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 Jan-May

The Press
May 5 1993

Boy's allegations 'trick, not trick'

A boy complainant in the Christchurch Civic Crèche sex abuse case yesterday told the High Court that allegations he had made about the childcare worker facing trial were both a trick and not a trick.

In the last of four interviews with a specialist interviewer, the now seven-year-old boy said an allegation that the accused, Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis, aged 35, had urinated in his face was a trick and "not really true".

He made the allegation in an earlier interview when he told the interviewer that Ellis had "weed in his face" in the toilets at the crèche.

After the videotaped interviews were shown to the court, the boy, on being questioned by Mr Brent Stanaway, for the Crown, said the incident had really happened and he was "not tricking".

The interviews were recorded in May and June last year.

The last three interviews were shown to the court at the request of the defence.

As a result of disclosures in the first interview, the Crown alleges Ellis urinated in the boy's face at some time between February 1989 and October 1990.

Ellis faces 28 charges of sexually abusing children in his care at the crèche.

In the first interview the boy told the interviewer he had come to talk to her about Ellis because "he's been rude".

Ellis had kept secrets from the teachers at the crèche but he could not remember them but he could guess, he said.

One thing he did not like about Ellis was that he had used swear words.

He had been hiding when Ellis used the swear words, "f..k, bitch, arsehole", and had then told his teachers who had called the police, he said.

The swearwords were all he could remember but he did not feel good about Ellis. Next he said Ellis had not treated the children right.

He had beaten them up using his karate skills and the children had used their karate skills back.

He had seen Ellis being mean to his friends in a funny, mean, silly way and "all sorts" of ways, but there were "no scary things" he could not tell anybody about.

When told by the interviewer that he had told his mother about Ellis taking him to the toilet, the boy said Ellis had pulled down his pants and he had pulled Ellis's pants down. Ellis had liked that and "I laughed", he said.

He said nothing else had happened other than him seeing Ellis's big penis and big puku. Ellis had started chasing him, but it was too cold outside, the boy said.

Later he referred to "something that was too hard to tell" and when questioned further after a break he said Ellis had "weed" on him.

The "wee" had gone into his eyes, his nose, between his teeth, and on to his puku.

Afterwards he had told the teachers and they had taken Ellis to jail. The conduct had happened "800 times", the boy said.

In the other interviews, the boy said the urine was brown and that Ellis had wiped it off him after the incident.

He did not remember how the incident had made him feel nor if Ellis's penis had come near his face.

They had both had their clothes on, and Ellis had his hands behind his back during the incident.

The other interviews also contained allegations Ellis had taken the boy to his house and that he had touched Ellis's penis.

The boy's mother said she had noticed behaviourial changes in her son after he bad started at the Civic crèche.

He had been an open, affectionate child, but became withdrawn and distant.

His toileting habits changed so that he would hold on to the last possible moment and would want to leave the toilet as quickly as possible.

Her son became reluctant to attend the crèche and would come home with finger bruises on his thighs.

He developed a rash around the genital area and his eating patterns changed.

His problems had improved 95 per cent since his disclosure interview although he now suffered from headaches, sore stomachs, and displayed aggressive behaviour.

She had known nothing about the urinating allegation before her son's first interview, she said.

In cross-examination, the mother of the fifth complainant; who finished her testimony on Monday, said the sexual posture her daughter had adopted in the bath followed a question about how she had ridden Ellis's horse.

She had then referred to Ellis's penis and the girl had laughed and said "Peter was not the horse. It was a real horse".

She said her daughter had never showed any reluctance to go to the crèche and never cried.

After a parents' meeting in March last year, a parent had called her to tell her allegations against Ellis involved activities in the crèche toilets and at his house.

As a result she had questioned her daughter about the house in a general way.

During the previous months she had asked her daughter about touching in the crèche toilets and Ellis tickling children's private parts, she said.

However the material about urination, needles, and sexual contact had not been put to her daughter.