Drunk woman who threw child at wall and beat him with mop escapes jail sentence
A Latvian woman who threw her partner’s six-year-old child against a wall and beat him with a mop while she was drunk has received a two and a half year suspended sentence.
The 25-year-old woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, initially told gardaí she had no idea how the child got the injuries. She was minding him at the time when the boy’s father was at work.
She later admitted to gardaí that she drank three bottles of wine that night and was upset and angry.
She said she went to the boy’s room while he was sleeping and started to punch him. She then dragged him from his room into her own bedroom, where she threw him against a wall and he hit his head off a radiator.
She brought the child downstairs where she told gardaí she continued to hit him with a mop.
The woman told officers she didn’t have much recollection of the assault and she later fell asleep with the boy.
She came forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on early pleas of guilty from the District Court. She pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at the boy’s Dublin home on April 9, 2014. She has no previous convictions.
Judge Martin Nolan accepted that the woman had had “problems” of her own as she had miscarried around the time of the incident.
He also accepted the findings of a psychological report which indicated that the woman is not a threat to children.
He said “on balance” a suspended sentence was appropriate as “this was a crime committed under pressures and circumstances pertaining at the time.”
John Berry BL, defending, told the court that his client had suffered a miscarriage the previous month and was suffering from depression and drinking heavily.
She started going out with the child’s father in June 2013 and moved in with him two months later.
The court heard that the child’s father had sole custody of him after his mother left him when he was two years old.
Garda Aisling Brophy told Sinead McMullan BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were called to Tallaght Hospital by staff as they were suspicious of injuries the boy had sustained.
The child’s father was not aware what had happened and told officers that his girlfriend had been minding his son that night while he was working.
He said he had returned home to find the child and woman sleeping in the same room so he left them alone. When he tended to his son the following morning he noticed he was covered in small bruises that had an appearance of a rash.
The child told him that the woman had slapped him but the man didn’t believe him and suggested that the boy had been bitten by a spider.
The boy later told hospital staff that he had been bitten by a spider but then told a doctor that he had been hit by the lady who was minding him.
Gda Brophy said the child was treated for extensive bruises on the left side of his face that ran from his eyes and ears down to his jaw. He also had bruising on the inside of his cheek, upper arm, back and chest.
The woman was questioned by gardaí but denied causing the injuries. The boy was initially taken into foster care as his father still didn’t believe the accused had attacked his son.
The woman made a statement to gardaí eleven days later admitting the attack. Her relationship with the father ended and the boy returned to live with him.
A victim impact report was handed into court but not read out. Judge Nolan commented that the boy stated to specialist interviewers that he is now afraid of women and his father is worried about that.
Mr Berry handed in two psychologist reports into court. He said his client has displayed remorse and guilt and has acknowledged her offending behaviour.
Counsel told Judge Nolan that his client “didn’t seek to transfer any iota of blame to anyone but herself” and he was “putting into context the behaviour of this otherwise decent person”.
He said the woman has worked since she came to Ireland and is not a burden on the State. Her sister trusts her to babysit her own young children.