Allegations of Sexual Abuse

False Allegations

Michael Neville case

Manawatu Standard
November 24 2004

12-year-old cross-examined in schoolteacher trial

The first of four alleged victims in the trial of Horowhenua schoolteacher Michael Warren Neville was cross-examined yesterday.

Defence counsel Bruce Squire questioned the now 12-year-old girl about finer points of allegations against Neville, as well as trouble she allegedly got into for stealing at school.

She was 10 when Neville, 48, was alleged to have touched her legs, buttocks and genitals, while he sat at his desk testing her spelling.

Neville faces four charges of indecently assaulting girls under 12 while teaching at a school in the Horowhenua area between 1999 and 2003.

The four girls cannot be named, neither can the school. Neville is denying the charges.

The girl had earlier said the spelling tests were carried out every second day, but Mr Squire suggested they were actually held once a week, every Friday.

Mr Squire also asked the girl about a fun day held at the school, where he said she was seen playing in a swimming pool with Neville.

She admitted she had been in the pool, playing with Neville and another girl.

Court adjourned at 5pm, halfway through the video-taped interview of the second alleged victim in the trial. Her evidence will continue today.

The trial in Palmerston North District Court, presided over by Judge Les Atkins, is expected to run until at least Friday.