A man who slapped his two-year-old daughter in a Cork shopping centre, prompting two concerned shoppers to immediately alert gardai, has been fined €700.
The 46-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found by Cork District Court's Judge Olann Kelleher to have slapped the child as she struggled to get out of a shopping trolley in the car park.
However, the man - who is not Irish - was described in court as being a devoted father and husband. He had no previous convictions.
A medical report sought on the child, who was two years and 10 months old at the time of the incident on July 23, 2017, subsequently found no injuries.
The court was told the man had moved to Ireland with his family so that his little girl could grow up learning English.
The man had at all times denied slapping his daughter.
Judge Kelleher said he found the facts proved against the man.
"The extent of the slapping amounted to assault," he said.
"It is fair to say that he has not co-operated fully with the Probation and Welfare Service (PWS)."
The judge noted that the PWS said it felt it no longer had a role to play in the matter.
Tusla had been liaising with the man's family since the incident was brought before the courts.
The judge imposed a fine of €350 on each of the two charges. He allowed the man four months to pay.
The defendant had appeared before Cork District Court on two charges of assaulting his daughter at a Cork shopping centre on July 23, 2017.
Judge Kelleher previously said that while he found the facts proved against the man in respect of the assault matter, he wanted to consider alternatives to recording a conviction.
"This is a very, very sad case," he said.
The judge noted that, having seen the incident, the two female shoppers were so concerned for the safety of the child they contacted gardai.
The defendant did not address the court. However, on a previous court sitting he became very emotional.
"Our kid is suffering and no one cares," he said.
"Where is the heart? I want my family safe. My family is not safe. My family is suffering. My kid is suffering. What do I have to do?"
The man's wife also became extremely distraught during the previous court hearing.
A female witness told the court she was near a Cork shopping centre on July 23, 2017.
The woman said her attention was drawn to the high-pitched sound of a child crying.
She saw a man struggling with a young child by a shopping trolley. He was trying to get the child's legs into the seat.
Later, she came across the pair back in the car park.
She said she saw the man standing by the rear of his car and swinging his hands into the back of the car.
The woman said she heard the child crying and noted that her voice was getting higher and louder in apparent distress.
A second woman at the centre said she also saw the man swinging his hands into the rear of the car - and heard a child crying. The woman said, as she passed, she heard the man shouting in a loud voice: "Have you enough, now?"
Neither said they actually witnessed the child being struck but were convinced about what had happened.
Judge Kelleher said the evidence of the two independent witnesses was both compelling and credible.