22 Dec 2011

Five-year-old girl attacked in parents' caravan

7:00 pm on 22 December 2011

A five-year-old girl is in hospital after what police say was a vicious sexually motivated attack at a Turangi camping ground.

The child is on holiday from Europe with her parents and three-year-old brother.

Detective Inspector Mark Loper says the children were asleep in a hired caravan at about 10pm on Wednesday, while their parents were less than 20 metres away in the kitchen block of the Club Habitat camping ground.

He says the parents were away for about half an hour. When the mother returned to the caravan to check on her children, she found the door locked and saw a man inside.

Mr Loper says she ran to get her husband. When they got back a few minutes later, they found the caravan door open, the man gone and their daughter in bed with serious injuries to her head and face.

She has since had four hours of surgery at Waikato Hospital and is in a stable condition. Her brother slept through the attack.

Police are asking anyone who saw anything suspicious at the camping ground between about 10pm and 10.40pm on Wednesday to contact them.

Mr Loper told Checkpoint police have no strong leads yet, as they try to track down the man responsible for what he calls a brutal and vicious attack.