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Father lashed girl (5) with a phone cord

A FATHER who lashed his five-year-old daughter across the back with a mobile phone cord has been jailed for three months for what a judge described as a "cold-blooded" assault.

The African-born man, who cannot be named, was sentenced for the attack on his daughter at their home in west Dublin.

It is understood he was disciplining the child, but hit her so hard he injured her and was reported to the gardai.

The 37-year-old accused was convicted of a charge of assault causing harm to the girl on October 30 last year.

The charge is contrary to Section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

His case was before Dublin District Court for a probation report and sentencing. Judge David McHugh read the document after it was handed in to court.

The defendant's barrister Seoirse O Dulaing said the report was a positive one and the accused had been co-operative with the probation service.

"The facts were, he inflicted on his daughter, who was then aged five, injuries as a result of [hitting her with] a mobile phone cord," the judge said.

"I have heard mitigation and had put the matter back for a probation report to study the matter further. I am satisfied that in all the circumstances this was an appalling crime on a five-year-old defenceless girl, made all the more disturbing by virtue of the fact that it was carried out by her own father.

"It was done in cold blood, without warning and there can be no other just sentence but the imposition of a custodial sentence."

The judge gave the accused a nine-month sentence, but suspended the last six months of it. Under conditions of the suspended part of the sentence, the judge also ordered that the girl's father attend anger management and stress counselling through the probation service upon his release from jail.

"I can only say I am deeply shocked by the events of October 30, 2009," the judge said.

The accused, who was wearing a dark grey jacket, shirt and jeans, did not address the court during the brief sentencing hearing.

Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal in the defendant's own bond of €400.