Young kids tortured in 'bootcamps': court

Sarah Motherwell

A man held on to children as young as four and forced them to run alongside a moving car in a Queensland forest, then beat them when they broke free, a court has heard.

Christopher Martin Munro is on trial in the Brisbane District Court after pleading not guilty to the repeated torture of four children aged between four and 12 years old.

Crown prosecutor Michael Connolly told the jury in his opening address that Munro took the children, who are not related to him, to state forests on the Sunshine Coast on several occasions late at night or on hot summer days.

The children were forced to run alongside a moving car at an "unsustainable pace" while people inside the vehicle held on to them, and they were beaten when they broke free, the court heard.

On one occasion, Munro allegedly held a four-year-old girl by the hair and struck her 15 times on the bottom with a stick when she fled.

The court heard Munro also held regular "bootcamps" for the children, making them repeatedly sit and stand and march on the spot, then punished them when they couldn't keep up.

Further torture was allegedly inflicted on a five-year-old girl, who suffered the chronic faecal incontinence condition encopresis.

Mr Connolly said Munro instructed the girl's parents to lock her in her bedroom for hours at a time by removing the door handles, forcing her to soil herself.

This allegedly happened several times a week and neighbours would hear the child crying to be allowed to go to the toilet.

The court heard Munro also allegedly rubbed the girl's nose in her own faeces and force fed her curry powder.

Mr Connolly said the alleged torture of the children caused them severe physical, psychological and emotional pain.

The trial will continue on Thursday.