Two mothers contacted gardaí because they were shocked to see a man allegedly slapping his three-year-old daughter at a supermarket.
The first woman, a mother of five, told Cork District Court she saw the man stretch out his arm behind his back and repeatedly swiped his arm into the car, slapping something where a child was sitting in the car seat.
She heard the man, who cannot be identified, say three times to the child: “Have you enough now?”
Another woman, a mother of seven, said she witnessed something in the supermarket a short time before this.
“I heard a commotion, the child screaming, very high-pitched,” she said. “I saw her in the trolley trying to get out. She was very distressed. I was tempted to go over. I did not interfere. The screaming continued.
“We all know the difficult days you can have but you have to pacify them. She was trying to get her legs out. He was forcing her in. I was worried about the little child.
“I thought he [the father] was not well. We all have bad days.”
Judge Olann Kelleher asked: “Did you see him assault the child?”
The witness replied: “I did, I saw him force her legs.
“The child was very distressed. Her pitch went higher and she did not want to be there.”
On the last point, the defendant remarked: “Maybe not.”
The witness addressed the defendant, who was cross-examining her as he represented himself, and said: “You made no attempt to console her.”
The 46-year-old defendant said: “You don’t have to concern yourself about my kid.”
The woman who alleged that she saw him making a slapping movement when standing at the side of his car noted the registration number and contacted gardaí.
When an officer asked him of his response to the allegations that he assaulted his daughter he replied: “Bullshit. Type that down please.”
In Cork District Court yesterday, he said: “I am never aggressive with my kid. If I want my kid to do something I tell her. [And if she won’t do it] I say now you are not getting a toy but I don’t hit her.”
The defendant’s wife cried and said the whole experience had been terribly upsetting for the family.
She was not present in the supermarket on the day and said she did not think the two witnesses were racially motivated but felt they might be prejudiced against her husband, seeing him as a foreigner.
Judge Olann Kelleher said he would find the facts proven but stop short of proceeding to convict the defendant as he had no previous convictions.
The judge directed a probation report and put the matter back until January 25, 2019.