Woman avoids jail after beating child with mop

A Latvian woman who threw her partner’s six-year-old child against a wall and beat him with a mop while she was drunk has received a two-and-a-half-year suspended sentence.

The 25-year-old woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, initially told gardaí she had no idea how the child got the injuries. She was minding him at the time when the boy’s father was at work.

She later admitted to gardaí that she drank three bottles of wine that night and was upset and angry.

She said she went to the boy’s room while he was sleeping and started to punch him. She then dragged him from his room into her bedroom, where she threw him against a wall and he hit his head off a radiator.

She brought the child downstairs where she told gardaí she continued to hit him with a mop.

The woman told officers she didn’t have much recollection of the assault and later fell asleep with the boy.

She came forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on early pleas of guilty from the district court. She pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at the boy’s Dublin home on April 9, 2014. She has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan accepted the woman had had “problems” of her own as she had miscarried around the time of the incident.

He also accepted the findings of a psychological report which indicated that the woman is not a threat to children.

He said “on balance” a suspended sentence was appropriate as “this was a crime committed under pressures and circumstances pertaining at the time”.

John Berry, defending, told the court his client had suffered a miscarriage the previous month and was suffering from depression and drinking heavily.

She started going out with the child’s father in June 2013 and moved in with him two months later.

The court heard that the child’s father had sole custody of him after his mother left him when he was two years old.

Garda Aisling Brophy told Sinead McMullan, prosecuting, that gardaí were called to Tallaght Hospital by staff as they were suspicious of injuries the boy had sustained.

The child’s father was not aware what had happened and told officers his girlfriend had been minding his son that night while he was working.

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