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If she suffered, who made her suffer?

A man, whose identity has been suppressed by the courts, has pleaded not guilty to torturing children.
A man, whose identity has been suppressed by the courts, has pleaded not guilty to torturing children. Darren England/AAP

SHE was confined in a room with the door handle removed, she was made to march on the spot.

She had cold water poured on her head as she sat in the "naughty chair" for offences including soiling herself.

And with other children, she ran after a car on a dirt track in the forest, one witness said, in the belief she would be left behind if failing to keep up.

One witness said the girl even had her nose rubbed in excrement.

Now, a jury must decide whether the girl's treatment amounted to severe pain and suffering, after a man on trial for torturing four children pleaded not guilty.

For eight days, Brisbane District Court heard allegations of abuse carried out at a south-east Queensland home and in regional forests.

Defence counsel Simon Hamlyn-Harris said the 58-year-old man on trial was just trying to help with "appalling conditions" the girl endured at home.

The girl, aged five at the time of some of the alleged offending, had behavioural problems including soiling herself.

The man's ideas might have sometimes been "misguided or excessive" but practices such as making the girl sit a naughty chair were "certainly not torture", defence counsel Simon Hamlyn-Harris said.

The girl was born into "an abusive relationship" and her mother moved away from the girl's biological father.

After another abusive partner, the mother moved in with a man who had a brain injury and was not "equipped" to deal with the girl's soiling and behavioural problems, Mr Hamlyn-Harris said.

Closing the defence case on Wednesday, Mr Hamlyn-Harris said the jury would have to make three key decisions.

They would decide if the children involved suffered severe pain.

They would decide if the man on trial inflicted this suffering.

And they would decide if he intended to make the children suffer.

Mr Hamlyn-Harris said only one child witness claimed the girl's nose was rubbed in excrement but others, including the girl, did not.

Crown Prosecutor Victoria Trafford-Walker said the man's claims were "an attempt to explain away" his extremely concerning behaviour.

"He knows what he did to these children was wrong," the prosecutor told the jury.

"Evidence of pain and suffering is significant," Ms Trafford-Walker said.

She said police started investigating in 2014.

The forest runs were a way of inflicting "maximum pain and suffering" away from prying eyes, Ms Trafford-Walker added.

Other adults who faced charges relating to the children's treatment have already been sentenced, the jury were told.

The jury were excused. Judge David Kent said a verdict was not expected before 10am on Thursday. -NewsRegional

Topics:  brisbane district court child welfare elimbah simon hamlyn-harris trial victoria trafford-walker


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