Dad kicked daughter in face after she confronted him about his drinking

Judge adjourned sentencing to see if 16-year-old daughter wanted to give victim impact statement

Judge Bryan Smyth said it was clearly a very serious offence and he adjourned sentencing to ascertain if the girl wanted to give a victim impact statement.

Judge Bryan Smyth said it was clearly a very serious offence and he adjourned sentencing to ascertain if the girl wanted to give a victim impact statement.

 

A father kicked his teenage daughter in the face after she confronted him about his drinking, a court has heard.

Dublin District Court was told he attacked her again with a punch in the face in front of gardaí when they were called out to deal with the domestic violence incident.

They also had to use pepper spray to arrest him.

The man, who is in his forties, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the 16-year-old girl at their north Dublin home on a date last year. He cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim who is a minor.

He also admitted obstructing a garda during the incident.

Judge Bryan Smyth said it was clearly a very serious offence and he adjourned sentencing to ascertain if the girl wanted to give a victim impact statement.

In evidence, Garda Adrian O’Hanlon said that when the girl arrived home on the night of the attack there was an argument with her father over alcohol. She took two cans from the fridge and went to her bedroom.

The father followed her to her room where he took the cans back and “kicked her in the face causing her nose and mouth to bleed”.

Gardaí were called and when they were taking a report in the kitchen the man entered and was “very erratic”.

“After two minutes calming him down he asked to go back to his bedroom to retrieve a T-shirt,” the garda said, adding that the accused passed by the girl and “struck her with a closed fist in the face in front of gardaí”.

He remained violent and it continued outside the house until gardaí had to use an incapacitating spray, the court was told.

Garda O’Hanlon agreed with defence counsel Simon Matthews that alcohol would have been an aggravating factor.

The man, who has several children, already had nine prior criminal convictions for motoring offences.

Pleading for leniency the defence said the “highly embarrassed” man had a severe alcohol dependency for some time which caused difficulty for his health and he is currently on medication. However, he has sought help for his drink problem, the court heard.

Counsel said on the night of the drink-fuelled attack the man “freely admits he doesn’t know how many he had”.

The defence barrister said his client still lived in the family home but “would not have been surprised if he had not been allowed back in and was thrown out”. Counsel said the family put up with the defendant which is why he resolved to address his issue and this incident made him turn his back on alcohol.