Man denies charge of cruelty to girl (2)
A MAN has gone on trial for alleged cruelty and assault of a two-year-old girl.
The man is accused of having dragged the child by her hair into a cold bath and putting shampoo in her mouth after she got sick.
Dublin's Circuit Criminal Court also heard he kept the child's mother back by brandishing a kitchen knife.
The 25-year-old with an address in Dublin pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm and cruelty to his then partner's child at her home on March 5, 2008. He has also denied the charge of producing a knife.
The child's mother told the prosecution that when the accused returned home from work, the toddler got sick. She said her daughter used to get sick when she saw her partner because she was afraid of him.
She said as she started cleaning it up, he took the child by the ponytail and pulled her into the bathroom.
She said he ran a cold bath and put the child in. The girl was trying to get out but the accused had her by the neck and was forcing her down into the tub.
She said he sprayed shampoo in the child's mouth and then washed it with the shower nozzle. She said she tried to get her daughter but he had a knife and threatened to kill her.
She said he headbutted her and said: "That child walks all over you because you don't chastise her."
She said she called the gardai two days later and they told her to take the child to hospital.
The woman agreed with the defence that there were several differences between her various accounts of the incident but she said that this was due to her distressed state of mind when she was talking to gardai.
She said she lived in fear of the accused and that he had stabbed her with a screwdriver on one occasion.
The trial continues before Judge Patricia Ryan and a jury of seven men and five women.