Mum who rubbed dog dirt in child's face escapes jail
A mother rubbed dog faeces on the face of her young daughter and pushed her down a stairs during a five-year period of neglect.
At Ennis District Court yesterday, Garda Donna Egan outlined the neglect in the child cruelty case.
The offences were committed by a 37-year-old Co Clare mother of seven against her daughter, who was aged five to 10 at the time.
In one incident, Gda Egan said that the girl - who is now in care - recalled a dog dirtying the floor and the girl was told to clean it up by her mother.
"Some of the dog dirt on the tissue was rubbed on the child's face by her mother," she said.
Gda Egan said that the girl, who is now a teenager, also recalled her mother pushing her down a stairs during the period and throwing a mug at her, hitting her on the head.
Gda Egan said that when the girl refused to tidy her bedroom, her mother put her into a bath and turned on the hot-water tap.
The DPP recommend that the case be dealt with in the district court.
The woman pleaded guilty to neglect between February 23, 2005, and June 30, 2010.
In the district court a maximum sentence of 12 months applies to the cruelty charge and the woman yesterday walked from free from court.
Judge Patrick Durcan said that he would go along with the probation report, which recommended that the woman be placed on probation for 12 months.
Judge Durcan said that the woman "behaved in a way towards her child which was neglectful in extreme, damaging in the extreme and which was very depriving of what any child should have when they are growing up".
"The child in question must have suffered seriously," he said.
Gda Egan said that it was the mother who came forward in 2012 to reveal the extent of the neglect.
Gda Egan said that the mother admitted not giving the child any love or affection and that she emotionally neglected her.
The garda said that the mother admitted that she never bonded with her daughter and didn't have the required parenting skills in spite of attending parenting classes.
Gda Egan said that five of the woman's children were in care and agreed with Judge Durcan that she had suffered from serious psychiatric problems.