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CYF probes 'involvement' with blood-drinking boy

CYF probes 'involvement' with blood-drinking boy

Thursday , 31 August 2006

By YVONNE TAHANA

Child, Youth and Family is investigating its role in the case of a boy whose aunt beat him until he bled and then made him drink his own blood.

On Tuesday Shandi Barlow, 42, pleaded guilty to a raft of child abuse charges in the Hamilton District Court.

Lawyer James Faleauto told the court CYF had placed Etekia Araia into Barlow's care in 2003 when he was 14.

However, CYF general manager Lorraine Williams said the organisation did not place Mr Araia, now 18, into Barlow's care, nor did they have custody of him. CYF was involved with the family, though, and it was "looking into our involvement with this young person and his family".

"We were working with this family at the time and the seriousness of these events are of extreme concern."

Over two years, Mr Araia was beaten, dressed in women's clothes or made to strip to his underwear.

He had to eat outside in – his underwear, was beaten with a bowl until it smashed, and was not allowed to use the toilet.

Barlow will be sentenced on September 18.

ENDS


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