NewsCourts

Mayo mother dragged 7-year-old boy behind bicycle on way to school

CourtsBy Sunday World
Mayo mother dragged 7-year-old boy behind bicycle on way to school

A Mayo mother has been found guilty of assault after dragging her seven-year-old son behind her by his school bag as she cycled to his school.

According to a report in the Mayo News, the woman, who also grabbed the boy by his collar as he attempted to keep pace with her cycling, was found guilty of assault at Castlebar District Court.

The court heard that the mother’s actions were reported to social services by a passer-by in Ballina.

The person saw the woman dragging her son along the ground as he rode her bike while smacking his hand to make sure he kept a grip on the handlebars.

She was also giving out to him for being late for school.

The woman, who cannot be named due to reporting restrictions enacted by the judge, had pleaded not guilty to the offence which happened on September 16, 2014.

The court was told that the mother has not been in touch with her son or his father since the incident took place as a result of limited visiting rights with the boy.

Judge Mary Devins was shown a video of an interview conducted by specialist child-interviewing gardai.

The Judge stated that the child, who was seven years old at the time, was an extremely intelligent boy who possessed awareness of his surroundings but clearly did not want to speak about the assault.

The person who witnessed the incident, Robert Browne, explained that he was with his partner when he noticed a woman shouting while riding a push bike with a boy on foot behind her.

He said that, as the mother was chastising her son for being late, she grabbed his collar as he walked behind her.

Browne further explained that the woman was cycling too fast for her son, causing him to fall on his stomach.

She stopped, grabbed her son before continuing to cycle as he was on his knees, struggling to get back on his feet.

The mother continued to drag the boy along until they reached a junction, where she used a closed fist to punch the boy’s hand in an attempt to get him to grab the handlebars, before warning him that ‘you have to be careful crossing the road’.

The witness also claimed that the mother began using the F word and the C word in torrents of abuse directed at her son, who looked extremely distressed.

Mr Browne then intervened, asking the boy if he knew the woman.

The child confirmed the woman to be his mother, before she told Mr Browne to mind his own business before bringing her son to school.

John Gordon, solicitor for the defendant, deemed the mother’s treatment of her child ‘inexcusable’ and her reaction to his lateness for school as inappropriate.

The judge, who commended the behaviour of the witness, adjourned sentencing until June 14 for the preparation of a victim impact statement.