Childminder appeared to bite infant in face, court told

‘Terrible screams’: Woman (38) pleads guilty to wilfully assaulting 18-month-old

Medical reports  found the child had suffered facial bruising but no bite marks, Sgt Kieran O’Connell said. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Medical reports found the child had suffered facial bruising but no bite marks, Sgt Kieran O’Connell said. File photograph: iStockPhoto

 

A postwoman making her rounds heard “terrible screams” and saw what appeared to be a woman biting an 18-month-old’s face when she called to a house in Co Kerry, a court has heard.

The childminder, aged 38, appeared before Killarney District Court on Tuesday where she pleaded guilty to wilfully assaulting a child in her care in a manner likely to cause injury to the child’s health or seriously affect its wellbeing.

Sgt Kieran O’Donnell said the accused was a childminder and a friend of the mother who had been minding the child for more than a year.

He said that at noon on May 12th last, “a post lady doing her rounds” called to the house and on approaching the door heard “terrible screams”.

The postwoman looked through a glass panel and observed the childminder with the child in her arms pinned against the wall.

“She had her face up against the child’s face as if she was biting the child’s face,” Sgt O’Donnell said.

‘Hysterical’ child

The postwoman banged on the door and the childminder came to the door with the “hysterical” child in her arms. The child’s mother was contacted and left work in order to take the child to the doctor.

Medical reports handed into court found the child had suffered facial bruising, which healed in two to three weeks, but no bite marks, Sgt O’Connell said.

Defence solicitor Padraig O’Connell said the woman had children of her own and there were no issues with her care of them. There was full admission and co-operation from his client and a full apology, he said.

“The crying of the child just got inside her head and she can’t explain what happened. She just lost it. It was a once-off,” Mr O’Connell said.

He asked whether compensation might be an appropriate way to deal with the matter and Judge James O’Connor ordered €5,000 be lodged in court for the benefit of the child and €1,000 for the benefit of the mother.

He adjourned the matter to December 5th.