Couple assaulted daughter (15) over Facebook photos

Parents given suspended sentences following incidents while trying to confiscate phone

Judge Olann Kelleher said it was “a very sad case”.

Judge Olann Kelleher said it was “a very sad case”.

 

A couple who assaulted their daughter (15) when trying to take away her phone after she posted nude photos of herself on Facebook have been given suspended sentences.

The pair, who cannot be named to protect the girl’s identity, were each given a five-month suspended sentence on condition that they attend a parenting course and an anger management course.

On Monday at Cork District Court the man pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting the girl while her mother pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at a location in Cork on June 3rd 2016.

Inspector John Deasy said the incident with her father occurred when he arrived home to see her using her phone, despite being ordered not to do so. Her parents had confiscated her phone on the day in question. The father tried to get the phone but the girl resisted and he pulled her by the hair and she fell to the ground. She alleged that he kicked her in the ribs but he denied this.

The incident with her mother happened later that evening when she confronted the girl regarding the phone but the girl refused to hand it over. She alleged that her mother slapped her in the face.

Knocking to the ground

The teenager bit her mother on the thumb and forefinger and the mother kicked out, knocking the girl to the ground. The daughter ended up with a mark on her cheek matching the sole of the woman’s shoe, the court heard.

She made a complaint to gardaí and the parents admitted assaulting the girl but denied kicking her in the ribs or stamping on her face as she alleged. However, the mother said there was no deliberate stamp on the head simply an attempt to get the girl to release her.

Solicitor for the defendants said the girl had been engaging in “challenging behaviour” for two to three years prior to the two assaults, which were admitted by his clients.

He stressed that the parents were only motivated by a desire to protect their daughter from putting herself in a vulnerable position.

He said they had gone to their GP and attended a family-strengthening programme before the incident.

Judge Olann Kelleher said it was “a very sad case” and the HSE had felt the case was so serious that they had removed the girl from the family home.