New Zealand Herald

Mother charged with knifing children

03.01.2003
New Zealand Herald

A wounded 11-year-old girl fled screaming to her neighbours from a burning Waikanae home yesterday.

She and her 6-year-old brother were in Wellington Hospital last night with stab wounds to their backs, allegedly inflicted by their mother.

Their 9-year-old brother was treated for smoke effects from the fire which engulfed the home just after 9am.

One neighbour said he had seen two children sitting on the grass verge in front of their home with stab wounds as fire raced through the house. They sat there as the house burned until an ambulance arrived.

Another neighbour said the 11-year-old girl, bleeding from her wounds, had come knocking on their door pleading for help.

The 31-year-old mother, who was unharmed, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder of her children and one count of arson.

She was due to appear in Porirua District Court today.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam would not describe the weapon used, nor say where the children were when they were stabbed.

The 6-year-old boy had an operation yesterday afternoon. He was believed to have suffered serious injuries but was in a stable condition last night. The 11-year-old was also in a stable condition.

It was likely that the children would be put into the care of Child Youth and Family services once they were released from hospital.

Three fire engines attended the fire and it took 15 firefighters about 20 minutes to put out the blaze, shift manager at Fire Communications David Meikle said.

Mr Oxnam said police would seek name suppression for the mother and the children and a remand for her without plea in custody until January 28.

- NZPA

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