Wednesday 18 September 2019

Alcoholic father who kicked teenage daughter in the face after she confronted him about his drinking avoids jail

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Stock picture
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

AN ALCOHOLIC father-of-six who kicked his teenage daughter in the face after she confronted him about his drinking has avoided jail.

The father (40), who attacked the girl (16) when she took his beer from the fridge, then punched her in the face in a second assault after gardai were called was given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Judge Bryan Smyth said what happened was “appalling” and the accused was deserving of prison, but decided not to jail him after hearing he was now a “changed man” and his daughter and family had decided to given him another chance.

The accused, who cannot be named because of the victim’s age, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his daughter and obstructing gardai in the incident at his north Dublin home.

The case was heard previously and came back before Dublin District Court for a victim impact statement and sentencing.

Defence Barrister Simon Matthews said the accused’s daughter had outlined that she did not want to make a victim impact statement.

Garda Adrian O'Hanlon said he was satisfied that the victim had made her decision voluntarily.

Mr Matthews said it was a situation that “wasn’t pleasant.”

“It certainly was not,” Judge Smyth said.

The victim had said that things were now better in the home and the accused had not drunk since that day.

The accused was part of the family again and was not causing any trouble.

“They are doing well as a family,” Mr Matthews said. “His daughter and the rest of the family have given him another chance.”

“I have to say on the last day when the facts were outlined to me, I thought they were a pretty appalling set of facts and I felt it was deserving of a prison sentence," Judge Smyth said.

He asked Mr Matthews why the accused should not be jailed.

The defendant had been drinking a “huge amount at the time” and was not acting like himself, Mr Matthews said. The incident happened in the home.

“That doesn’t excuse it, what happens within a family, that in many instances can be an aggravating factor,” Judge Smyth said.

Mr Matthews said he was not trying to excuse it.  There were no longer any difficulties at home and the accused’s daughter had said he was a “changed man.”

Previously, Garda O’Hanlon said the victim came home at 10.30pm on August 8, 2016 and an argument took place around his alcohol consumption.

The daughter took two cans from the fridge and went up to her bedroom. The accused followed her upstairs, took the two cans off her and kicked her in the face, causing her nose and mouth to bleed.

After the gardai arrived, the accused asked to go to retrieve a t-shirt and as he passed the victim, he struck her with his fist in the face.

He resisted arrest violently until incapacitant spray had to be used to subdue him.

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