A Masterton couple accused of handing a rifle to a nine-year-old girl and ordering her to shoot her mother's partner have been taunted as they appeared in court.
The girl's mother, 26, and her partner, 27, are accused of giving the gun to the girl after she approached her mother at Waitangi weekend to say the partner had abused her.
The girl was disbelieved, and then allegedly ordered by the pair to shoot the man if her claims were true. Crying, she refused.
Appearing before a registrar at Masterton District Court this morning, neither of the accused entered pleas to charges of cruelty to a child and unlawful possession of a firearm.
The man is also accused of indecently assaulting the girl.
Both have been given name suppression until their next court appearance later this month.
As the man stood in the dock he was taunted from the gallery by a member of the public.
The man was ordered to leave but spoke out again as he passed close to the girl's mother.
Both the accused were bailed to live at their home address, to abide by a Child, Youth and Family safety plan, and not to contact the girl.
The girl was removed from the couple's care prior to their arrests last week, and is believed to be staying with relatives