Punishment exercises would cause distress, trial told

A man, whose identity has been suppressed by the courts, accused of abusing children.
A man, whose identity has been suppressed by the courts, accused of abusing children. Darren England/AAP

A PEDIATRICIAN has told a court a young girl would have suffered if she had been made to do punishment exercises.

The doctor made the comments as she testified in Brisbane District Court during a trial where a 58-year-old man is accused of torturing children.

Multiple witnesses this week said the five-year-old Queensland girl was kept in squalid conditions and repeatedly soiled herself.

The court also heard allegations a child was made to repeatedly stand up and sit down, march on the spot and lift her knee up high.

The 58-year-old, who cannot be identified, has pleaded not guilty to four torture charges.

The pediatrician concluded the punishment alleged "would have been distressing at the time both physically and emotionally” but that did not mean the girl would suffer long-term damage.

She said similar exercises, done in the context of a short warm-up, were not necessarily problematic.

But if a child was made to do such exercises continually for up to 30 minutes "it would be very likely the child would get fatigued,” the doctor said.

A different court has dealt with other adults who faced charges related to the alleged abuse.

Earlier, the trial heard allegations the girl was kept for up to five hours in a room which had its door handle removed.

The accused man, during a police interview played to the jury, said the girl was sometimes "sitting in her own sh*t all day”.

Crown Prosecutor Victoria Trafford-Walker earlier told the jury the accused man and his co-accused would take the children to rough, steep dirt tracks in forests near the Sunshine Coast.

Adults would "hold” the children's hair or arms and "force” them to run beside the moving cars for up to 5km, the jury heard.

Defence counsel Simon Hamlyn-Harris said the accused man denied claims he tortured his own stepchildren.

He told the jury his client admitted giving the other adults "parenting advice”. The trial continues. -NewsRegional

Topics:  brisbane district court

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