AN ALGERIAN man who attacked and threatened to kill his daughter at knife point for walking to college with a black friend has avoided a prison sentence.
Hakim Didani (47) assaulted his teenage daughter and made threats against her life while holding a knife in one hand and a screwdriver in the other.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Didani held a knife to his then 17-year-old daughter's face and threatened to kill her.
Didani, of Mount Eagle Green, Leopardstown, Dublin 18, admitted threats to kill and assault his daughter on the morning of November 18, 2010.
He called his daughter a whore and a cow, before shouting: "You needn't come home tonight."
Didani also brandished a screwdriver, pointed it at his daughter's friend and said: "come here, come here".
The student ran away when the accused tried to get out of his car. Didani ordered his daughter into the vehicle, then began hitting her in the face as he drove home.
The court heard that he stopped the car in a bus lane and started hitting her with the handle of the screwdriver.
"If I get you to a forest right now, I'll kill you," he told her.
Didani also beat her as soon as they returned home.
He kicked and hit her while she lay on the ground before emptying the contents of her handbag on the floor.
Didani then walked into the kitchen and returned with a kitchen knife.
He put the knife to her face and said: "I'm going to kill you."
The victim's mother and youngest sister arrived home during the assault, and the sister phoned gardai.
Gda Mention agreed with Vincent Heneghan, defending, that there were "cultural differences" which were key to this case.
Judge Ring noted that the girl had only suffered minor injuries, but said there were serious emotional and psychological consequences of the incident.
She said it was a very sad case, as it has left the family divided and the girl – who is now 19 – has not returned to college since the assault.
"It's perhaps not surprising that the family unit has broken down since this event, but Mr Didani has no one to blame but himself," she said.
Judge Ring questioned what would have happened if the girl's mother and sister had not arrived home when they did.
She noted that the teenager was "very charitable" in her victim impact statement, and said she did not wish her father to be sent to prison.
Judge Ring handed down a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence, and ordered that Didani stay away from his daughter during this period.