Accused torturer belted boy, dragged girl

Toby Mann

A man accused of punishing children with torturous "bootcamps" forced them to run through a forest, locked up and belted an autistic boy and made him drink bottles of Tabasco sauce, a court has heard.

Christopher Martin Munro has pleaded not guilty to the repeated torture of four children aged between four and 12 years old in a trial at the Brisbane District Court.

Throughout 2013, it's alleged Munro tortured the children, who are unrelated to him, as punishment for insulting each other, running, or being "too loud".

A witness, who cannot be identified, told the jury on Friday he would dump the children in a state forest on the Sunshine Coast and drive off, making them fear they would be abandoned.

On one occasion, a five-year-old girl was pulled by the hair by Munro as he drove for about two kilometres, while another man held a second girl through the rear window on the driver's side.

"They had to run to keep up," the witness told the court.

"They were screaming and trying to stop, saying they were tired."

The jury heard a police interview given by the oldest alleged victim in December 2014, where he told detectives he had large bruises after being hit by Munro with a large, grey strap.

The 12-year-old boy, who suffers from autism, said he was locked in a room for a week and prevented from seeing his mother as punishment for misbehaviour.

He was allowed out to use the toilet and was fed dinner at about 4pm, the court heard.

The boy also told the jury about other modes of punishment and described one incident after he had called other children names such as "stupid and silly".

"I like Tabasco sauce," he said.

"Every time, when I called (the children) bad names ... he used to get it out and he used to give it to me - the whole bottle."

At dusk, he was taken to a forest north of Brisbane and made to run behind a car until exhausted.

"I felt like I was going to faint," he said.

The boy also said he was afraid Munro would find out he had spoken about the alleged abuse.

Munro also allegedly ran "bootcamps", some lasting several days, during which he made the children repeatedly sit and stand and march on the spot, then punished them when they couldn't keep it up.

The trial continues.