Torture trial accused regretted not doing more to help girl
HE lambasted adults who left children in filth and neglect - but what did he do about it?
Police asked a man now facing child torture charges that question when hideous allegations emerged over the abuse of south-east Queensland children.
The 58-year-old man, on trial for torture this week in Brisbane District Court, told police of squalid conditions a five-year-old girl was kept in.
He also told police he regretted not doing more to help the girl, and had concerns about how other adults treated the child.
"I should have asked....a lot more questions about what was going on with her, with them," he said in an interview played to the jury. "I'm very sorry that I didn't."
The girl soiled herself multiple times a day, and was kept for up to five hours in a room which had its door handle removed.
During the interview, a policewoman asked the man: "But you haven't done anything about it?
"I thought that was their problem," the defendant replied, referring to other adults known to the girl.
The defendant said the girl was sometimes "sitting in her own sh*t all day".
He told police he confronted a teacher about the girl coming home with soiled pants, and after threatening to alert a principal, that problem stopped.
He said claims he called the children "c*nts" were lies but admitted to having previously been "pretty direct" with the youngsters.
The girl was sometimes confined to a room with no furniture or toys.
But the man told police: "The door handle was on the door when I put her in the room."
He said a house the girl lived in at one point had a pantry which another man padlocked shut, so nobody could "steal food".
The defendant told police he fed the girl chops, potatoes and vegetables, but others supposed to be caring for the girl underfed her, or gave her junk food.
A different court has dealt with other people who faced charges related to the alleged abuse.
On Thursday, another witness said the girl lived in "disgusting squalor" with no mattress and "nothing but a bed base" in her room.
"(There was) just a sheet on the ground. The wood was sticking up out of the bed."
A "really really bad urine smell" came from the girl's bedroom.
Once, a computer monitor in the girl's house played a slideshow, in view of visitors, of an adult woman known to the girl "doing indecent things to sex toys", the witness said.
The witness was repulsed, took her children and said: "That's enough, I'm out of here."
Another witness, who also cannot be named, described the girl's house as a "pigsty" and her room as squalid.
"There was poo everywhere...the sheets she was using were absolutely filthy."
She said the defendant bought the five-year-old a bed.
The trial continues.