Man fined for slapping daughter (2) at Cork shopping centre
Father denied assault charges, after incident reported to gardaí by two women
The man took the witness box to deny the charge and said that he never hit or struck his daughter.
A man (46) has been fined €700 after a judge convicted him of two counts of assault on his daughter (2) after he was seen slapping her in a Cork shopping centre.
Two women who saw the incident feared for the child’s safety and reported him to gardaí.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, denied the two assault charges. Judge Olan Kelleher had previously found the facts of the case proven against him. He had adjourned the issue of penalty until he obtained a victim impact statement.
On Friday at Cork District Court, Judge Kelleher noted the victim impact statement made no reference to the effect of the assaults on the little girl, who was two years and ten months at the time. He noted the Probation Service indicated they could not assist further with the case due to the man’s failure to fully engage with them.
He said he accepted the man, who is not Irish, was a devoted father and husband as described by his wife and that he had no previous conviction. He also accepted a medical report from just days after the assaults, showing the girl had not suffered any bruising or marks.
Defence solicitor Eddie Burke pointed out the man had moved his family to Ireland so his little girl could grow up learning English. He said the man was hard working and a good provider for his family.
Judge Kelleher said it was “a sad case” and Tusla had become involved. He said considering all the facts, including witness testimony , he convicted the man of the two assaults and he fined him €350 on each count .
The court heard in December from a witness that she was in the shopping centre on the southside of Cork city on July 23rd 2017 when she heard a child crying in a high-pitched voice. She noticed a man trying to push the child’s legs into a shopping trolley seat.
“She was trying to get her legs out and he was trying to get them back in,” said the woman. She said the child continued screaming in a high-pitched voice as the man went around the shop and she again encountered them in the car park .
She saw the man standing beside the open rear door of his car, swinging his hands in to the car. While she could not say with 100 per cent certainty what he was doing, she was quite sure he was not handling the child gently as the child was screaming and her voice was becoming more high-pitched.
Another woman told how she too noticed the man swinging his hands into the car . While she could not see what he was hitting, she heard him shout three or four times “Have you enough now?” and she believed the child was being hit in the back seat of the car.
She took a photograph of his car registration and reported the matter to gardaí.
The man took the witness box to deny the charge and said that he never hit or struck his daughter. He said he used other deterrents such as removing her toys to get her to do what she was told.
He said while they may have seen and heard the child screaming, he did not hit her and he believed that they were exaggerating what they had seen.
“I have never resorted to violence, I have never hit my kid and I never will,” said the man .