04 Oct 2022

Derry father appears in court after slapping nine year old daughter in shopping centre

Derry Magistrate's Court heard today how a 51-year-old man is alleged to have slapped his 9-year-old daughter twice in a shopping centre in what a judge described as an 'appalling and horrific' incident.

The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim appeared charged with cruelty to children aggravated by domestic abuse. 

A police officer connected the accused to the charge and opposed bail.

He told the court that on August 31 the accused was in the Quayside Shopping Centre along with his elderly mother.

By coincidence his former partner and their 9-year-old daughter were also in the centre.

The court heard that the child was pulling at the elderly woman when the man is alleged to have slapped the child on the back of the head and then slapped her again with what was described as 'significant violence'.

The officer told the court that the incident was said to have occurred at 1.30pm in front of other shoppers.

The man's mother was said to have told him there were cameras and he said he did not care.

Bail was opposed due to what the officer said was 'the propensity for violence'.

He told the court that the man was currently on probation for a threat to kill against his former partner.
Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said that his client had regular contact with the child although that would now be supervised. 

He said it was' a very disturbing incident that is not acceptable'. 

The solicitor said that the behaviour went far beyond any sort of chastisement. 

District Judge Barney McElholm said it was an appalling incident and asked 'what sort of beast behaves like this towards his own children.'

He granted the accused bail on condition he has no contact with the alleged injured party.
He will appear again on October 3.

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