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Aunt who hit baby is sent back to prison

A WOMAN who was previously sentenced for repeatedly striking her nine-month-old niece as she was 'coming down' from heroin has had part of her sentence reactivated.

The 27-year-old – described as a chronic heroin addict – was sentenced by Judge Desmond Hogan in July 2011 to four years, with the final two suspended.

Today a court heard that she had committed an attempted robbery following her release.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, has three children of her own and gave birth to her last while on remand in the Dochas Centre.

She pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to cruelty to a child in her care. She was taking care of the baby for her sister at the time.

At the original sentence hearing, the court heard the child's mother left her in the woman's care for several days even though the last time she cared for a child "it didn't work out too well".


Yesterday Garda Gerry Gibbons told Judge Hogan that the woman pleaded guilty last month in the District Court to an attempted robbery of a phone in April 2012.

Defence counsel Maire Torrens said the accused had handed herself into gardai in January.

She said when the woman was released after serving the sentence, she fell into bad company and drug use again.

Judge Hogan imposed nine months of the suspended two-year portion of the sentence.

He remanded the attempted robbery charge back to the District Court for sentencing.

Judge Hogan had noted at the original sentence hearing that a medical report from Temple Street concluded that the child's facial bruising was consistent "with forceful gripping with an adult hand" and noted that the baby also had a "slight haemorrhage" under her left eye.

Detective Sergeant William Beirne told Ronan Kennedy, prosecuting, at a previous sentence hearing that the woman admitted to gardai in interview that she struck the child when she was in the toilet of a fast food restaurant taking heroin.