Girl 'beaten' for collapsing during 'forced' run beside car
FOUR children were forced to run alongside a car driving on rough Sunshine Coast forest roads as part of a series of "painful" punishments allegedly devised by a man charged with their torture.
The children were also allegedly subjected to gruelling "boot camps" where the accused and three other parents made them "march or run on the spot or repeatedly stand and sit" for lengthy amounts of time.
A 58-year-old south-east Queensland resident, who cannot be identified, has pleaded not guilty to four torture charges.
The charges relate to events the Crown alleges happened from July 1 to Christmas Day, 2013, at locations north of Brisbane.
Prosecutor Victoria Trafford-Walker told the jury on Tuesday the accused was charged with torturing MQ, who was his neighbours' daughter.
"He gave advice to the parents about parenting," she said.
"It was not proper - he was directing them to do certain acts against MQ to deal with her behaviour but ultimately this caused pain and suffering."
In his short opening address, defence counsel Simon Hamlyn-Harris told the jury his client admitted giving the other adults "parenting advice".
Mr Hamlyn-Harris said the accused man also denied the Crown's claims he tortured his own stepchildren: DX - a 12-year-old boy with an intellectual disability, DX's four-year-old sister RX and their five-year-old sister MX.
Ms Trafford-Walker said MQ's parents and the accused's partner - the mother of the other children - had already been dealt with and were expected to give evidence this week.
The accused man and his co-accused would take the children to rough, winding, steep dirt tracks in forests at Elimbah and Glass House Mountains, Ms Trafford-Walker told the court.
The adults would "hold onto" the children's hair or their arms and "force" them to run beside the moving cars for up to 5km, the jury heard.
During one session, one of the girls broke free and collapsed by the road.
The man on trial is alleged to have stopped the car, grabbed a stick and used it to punish the youngster.
"The distances and the pace the vehicle was driven at were excessive and the children were traumatised by the act," Ms Trafford-Walker said.
The court heard MQ, who suffered severe incontinence and constipation, was allegedly locked up in a room or outside with dogs for about three hours a day, multiple times a week, at her home and at the neighbouring home of the accused man.
And when she soiled herself because she was denied access to a toilet, the man allegedly rubbed her face in the mess.
"The neighbours would hear MQ cry out in a distressed state and her cries went unanswered," Ms Trafford-Walker said.
"She suffered severe pain and emotional trauma and it went on months.
"It was intentional and caused her pain and suffering."
The Crown also alleges MQ was force-fed curry powder and pepper.
In a pre-recorded interview with Detective Senior-Constable Naomi Solonec , MQ said her parents often sent her to stay with the accused man who made her take part in "boot camp".
"I saw him when I was being naughty," the little girl said in the video that was played to the court.
"He puts pepper in mouth. It burns.
"I stay there sometimes for boot camp.
"He gives me smacks when I go to boot camp - it makes me cry."
The case continues before Judge David Kent. - NewsRegional