Criminal Law News & Current Affairs
First of four childcare worker enters not guilty pleas in children assault case
The first of a group of childcare workers accused of assaulting children at a northside service has entered not guilty pleas.
The woman, 49, and three others are facing charges of physical abuse on children under their care at the Northside Community Services’ Civic Early Childhood Centre dating back to last year.
It is alleged three workers employed excessive use of force on children as young as one. They have been charged with 13 offences of common assault between them.
A fourth worker was also issued with a court summons, but the exact nature of those allegations is unclear.
The woman’s case appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning, the first of any of the group to appear before a court.
The worker did not appear, but lawyer Adrian McKenna, Ben Aulich & Associates, entered not guilty pleas on her behalf.
She is facing four charges of common assault.
Such cases are typically given a hearing date straight away, but Mr McKenna asked for more time because of the matter’s “complex and relatively serious” nature.
The woman will next appear on January 27.
The allegations have prompted numerous inquiries by police, the ACT Government, and the service provider itself.
It took some time for proper reports to be made about the assaults to management, who were only alerted in April this year.
Acting chief executive officer Kate Cvetanovski has previously told Fairfax Media that the leadership team then immediately contacted police, the ACT government and Care and Protection.
The staff members involved were stood down as soon as the service leadership was made aware of the allegations.