At Kilrush District Court, Judge Mary Larkin made her comment after viewing photographs of “the extensive bruising” of the boy’s lower back and buttocks.
Judge Larkin said that she has evidence “of an extraordinary and vicious assault” on the child.
Solicitor for the 38 year old father of four, Joseph Chambers said that his client is entering a plea of guilty to the offence.
In the case, the man is charged with wilfully assaulting and ill treating a child in his care in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to the child’s health on August 17th 2021 contrary to Section 246 of the Children’s Act 2001.
Sgt Louis Moloney told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has consented to the summary disposal of the case in the district court on a guilty plea only which he said Mr Chambers has entered on behalf of his client.
However, after an outline of the facts and examining photos of the injuries, Judge Larkin has deemed the case “so serious that I am refusing jurisdiction”.
As a result the case will now be heard before the circuit court where more serious penalties apply.
The maximum penalty on conviction of such an offence is 12 months in the district court and this rises to a maximum penalty of seven years in the circuit court.
Mr Chambers stated that his client informed the authorities of the assault before Gardai got involved. Mr Chambers stated that his client no longer has access to his four children and they reside with their mother. He said that the boy is now four..
Giving an outline of the facts, Garda Mícheál O’Gorman said that a sister of the accused presented the three year to a local GP “with extensive bruising to lower back and buttocks” and the matter was referred to Gardai.
Garda O’Gorman said that the accused was left in charge of his four children on August 17th 2021.
Garda O’Gorman said that when changing the child’s nappy the following the day, the man’s sister noticed the bruising and she confronted the defendant.
According to Garda O’Gorman, the defendant said that he had become frustrated and to stop the boy from crying had smacked him three or four times with his open palm.
Mr Chambers said that his client is in a better place mentally now.
Judge Larkin adjourned the case to July 9th to Kilrush District Court for DPP consent for the case to go forward to the circuit court.