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Cruel woman jailed for using electric shock collar on toddler

Lanna Monaghan
Lanna Monaghan

A woman who used an electric dog collar on a toddler during a "cruel" catalogue of abuse has been jailed for three years and four months.

Lanna Monaghan had acquired the device, which can deliver electric shocks, after witnessing its apparent effectiveness, the High Court in Glasgow heard.

The 34-year-old, who is pregnant, admitted using the collar on a boy on several occasions in July 2015, repeatedly fixing it to his neck and inflicting shocks.

She also admitted four further charges of abuse over a 15-month period between April 2014 and July 2015 at addresses in the Highlands, including kicking the child, hitting him with a wooden spoon, biting him and subjecting him to cold showers while kicking him.

Sentencing Monaghan, who wept throughout, judge Lady Rae said: "You have pleaded guilty to a catalogue of offences over the period of 15 months involving the physical abuse of a defenceless little boy.

"He did not suffer lasting physical effects, but it is impossible to determine what the emotional impact on this little boy will be in the future."

Referring to the use of the dog collar, she added: "I can't see why any right-minded person would use such an implement on an animal, let alone a child."

Lady Rae, who described the abuse as "cruel", rejected Monaghan's assertion that she was encouraged to do this by a family member, given that it was a relative who reported her to the authorities.

"This defenceless little boy must have been terrified of you," she added.

"You should be thankful that you were eventually reported for what you were doing."

The court heard Monaghan, who served in the Army for nine years, had been diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder and had experienced an emotionally and physically abusive childhood.

Her defence counsel Ronnie Renucci said she felt "genuine remorse and regret at her actions".

He added: "She admits the offence, she accepts full responsibility for that and she accepts she must face the consequences of her actions."

He told the court Monaghan has previously sought help for her anger problems and had completed an anger management course. She is willing to seek further help, Mr Renucci said.

"She's determined that she will make good use of her time within the prison system and will avail herself of any opportunities she is given to address these matters."

An NSPCC Scotland spokesman said: "The details of this horrendous abuse were truly disturbing and it is right that a custodial sentence has been imposed.

"This defenceless toddler will need support, love and stability to help him recover from the attacks to which he was subjected.

"Monaghan's violent behaviour could have ended in tragedy. Fortunately a concerned member of the public called the authorities. It is vital that anyone concerned about a child's welfare speaks out. They can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 500."