19 Oct 2018

Mum left anxious after intruder held knife to toddler's throat

7:47 am on 19 October 2018

A Hamilton woman hopes her 3-year-old daughter will forget the night an intruder held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Akita Pio's husband, Beejay, woke early yesterday in their home in the suburb of Pukete to see a strange figure in their hall.

"He woke up and he saw a weird figure in the hallway so he stumbled down towards our daughter's room, still half asleep and then he got there, the guy saw my husband," Mrs Pio said.

"[The intruder] pressed on my daughter's face and held the knife to her throat ... and said 'Get back, I'll do it, I'll kill her' ... Just felt like there was no humanity, he just didn't give any care that he was doing that to a 3-year-old."

Mrs Pio was able to rush their two children to safety while her husband grappled with the man.

"I woke up because I heard yelling from an unfamiliar voice so I ran to the room and when I went into the room all I saw was white knife, unfamiliar male, my daughter crying, and I just automatically thought I need to get my daughter out of there," Mrs Pio said.

"When I came in, the offender was distracted so my husband was able to tackle him and fight him off while he was still holding the knife. I grabbed my 3-year-old who was closest to the thing that was going on and then I grabbed my 2-year-old who was crying in the other bed."

She said she ran back to her bedroom with them, shut the door and called the police.

But after the incident, she said she did not feel safe anymore and worried about her daughter.

"When I could see her face crying and it just made me really hurt for her.

"She's at an age where she may forget it but she's also at an age where she's impressionable and something traumatic like this could stay with her."

She was thankful that her husband had woken up at the right time or it could have ended up being a worse scenario, she said.

A 25-year-old man appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday charged with aggravated wounding, aggravated burglary and assault using a knife as a weapon.