Dad cleared of toddler neglect described as 'father of the year'

A MAN described as 'father of the year' by his wife has had a charge of wilfully neglecting his two-year-old toddler struck out by a judge.

During the trial, gardai alleged that the man was drunk and abusive when they brought his son home after he ran out in front of a patrol car on March 20, 2011.

The 32-year-old father of three, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied the charge at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Petria McDonnell directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.

The mother of the child gave evidence that her husband deserved to get a 'father of the year' award.