24 Feb 2020

Police intervene as family of boy injured in Flaxmere receive threats

10:35 am on 24 February 2020

A "small number" of people have been spoken to for making threatening remarks towards the family of a boy injured in his Flaxmere home, police say.

The Flaxmere community has gathered  for a karakia for a four-year-old child seriously injured in a beating at unknown hands two weeks ago.

The Flaxmere community gathered for a karakia for the four-year-old on 12 February. Photo: RNZ / Anusha Bradley

The four year old was severely injured, and suffered brain damage in an incident on 29 January. He remains in Starship Hospital and no one has been charged or arrested and police say the boy's immediate family have not been cooperating with the investigation.

The case has sparked outrage in Flaxmere and beyond with some naming, sharing photos of the boy's family and even issuing threats towards them on Facebook.

In a post on Friday, a Flaxmere woman said she had been visited by a detective who told her a complaint had been made against her by the boy's family about something she had written.

"He advised me to refrain from putting up any more threatening comments or I'd pretty much get myself into trouble," she wrote.

"Like many in our community it absolutely ripped my heart to pieces when the story of this four-year-old boy became public."

She admitted making some comments about the boy's family on Facebook but was unapologetic and vowed to keep speaking out.

Police said it was aware of a "small number of incidents" involving online threats relating to the case.

"Police understand that the distressing nature of this incident has caused upset and concern in the community.

"However we ask people to allow police to continue their work and urge against any speculation or action which may have the potential to impact these enquiries," a police spokesperson said.

"Where these matters have come to police attention and individuals are identified, those people are being spoken to. No one has been arrested or charged at this stage."

The investigation into this incident was ongoing, police said.

"We are engaging well with extended family but continue to ask anyone with information to come forward and speak to us.

"Police would like to pass on our thanks to those in the community who have provided us with information so far, which is assisting enquiries. A number of officers are dedicated to this investigation and they are making progress."

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