Child was dangled off 5th-floor balcony

A shocked passer-by on a Limerick street watched in horror as a man dangled his young son from a fifth-floor balcony, a court heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had fallen asleep on the balcony, after taking drink.

When he awoke he saw that his three children, all under the age of eight, had come on to the balcony.

He decided to teach them a lesson about the dangers of climbing on high balconies and caught one little boy and proceeded to dangle him from a height of more than 50ft.

Segt Donal Cronin told Limerick District Court that a passer-by on the street below and residents of nearby apartments were horrified after witnessing what was happening and alerted gardaí.

The man, aged 55, has pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly endangering his children at his apartment in the city last January 25.The DPP consented for the case to be dealt with in the District Court on a signed plea of guilty.

Sgt Cronin said it was a very serious case involving a charge of child endangerment.

Judge Marian O’Leary said she was reluctantly accepting jurisdiction in the case.

Defence solicitor Sarah Ryan said her client was minding his three children, all under the age of eight. He was supervising them as they played on the balcony. However, he fell asleep while the children were still there. The children were unsupervised for around an hour.

She said when their father was alerted by neighbours he said he dangled one over the balcony. She said this was to “scare, educate, and chastise the children about the dangers of climbing the balcony”.

The court was told the father has undergone several parenting courses and had since moved to a bungalow

Judge O’Leary adjourned the case until November 25.


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