A drama played out in the public gallery of the High Court at Rotorua on Wednesday during the trial of five people charged over the death of toddler Nia Glassie.

As the lengthy cross-examination of a child witness ground on, a young man was seen taking photographs with a mobile phone camera.

The accused were seated at a table in the back of the courtroom — a glass partition separating them from the public gallery.

At least two of the accused turned around at some point in view of the amateur photographer.

Security guards moved in quickly and quietly, one of them confiscating the cellphone. Soon after, the offender was escorted out and banned from returning.

It was understood he has links to a local gang.

The incident, which did not disrupt the trial proceedings, later drew a stern reminder from Justice Judith Potter of strict suppression orders in force, relating in particular to a ban on identifying, filming, photographing or recording the evidence of child witnesses in the case.

In its second week, the high profile trial is barely half-way through.

A smattering of onlookers have come and gone each day. One of the regulars in the public gallery is William Curtis, father of two of the accused Michael and Wiremu Curtis.

He is still awaiting trial in the district court on unrelated charges also concerning Nia Glassie.