By Liam Heylin
The father who was seen slapping his crying daughter at a supermarket and asking repeatedly: “Have you had enough?” has been charged with the additional count of intimidating a witness to the assault.
The alleged intimidation occurred outside Cork District Court on Anglesea Street during a previous court appearance in relation to the same case on October 25, 2018.
The case was before Judge Olann Kelleher today for a probation report on the accused where the judge found the facts of the assault proved against him last month. But he also faced the additional charge of intimidating a witness.
You don’t have to concern yourself about my kid.
While the accused insisted on representing himself the last time, Judge Olann Kelleher appointed solicitor, Eddie Burke, to represent him on free legal aid today in what the judge described as an exceptional case.
Sergeant John Kelleher sought one bail condition as the case was adjourned on the new charge and on the original assault matter. That condition required him to have no contact direct or indirect with the two witnesses to the assault or the investigating garda. It will be back before Cork District Court on February 15 and the accused was directed to re-engage with the probation service after pledging to do so.
'Have you enough now?'
In the original trial, two mothers spoke of contacting gardaí because they were so shocked to see a man allegedly slapping his daughter at a supermarket.
One woman testified that the man stretched out his arm behind his back and repeatedly swiped his arm into his car slapping something where there was a child sitting in the car seat. This woman told of hearing the man say three times to the child: “Have you enough now?”
Another woman witnessed something in the supermarket a short time before this. “I heard a commotion – the child screaming, very high pitched. 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 she said, “You made no attempt to console her.” The defendant said: “You don’t have to concern yourself about my kid.”
When a garda officer asked him of his response to the allegations that he assaulted his daughter he replied: “Bullshit. Type that down please.”
He testfied: “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.”
He said that if showed violence she might use violence to get what she wanted and he would not give her that example.
The defendant’s wife cried and said the whole experience has 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. She described their daughter who was almost three at the time as fantastic and lovely.
The 46-year-old’s identity and other identifying details are not published as it would lead to the identification of the alleged victim in the case who is a child.