Primary teacher who smacked daughter found guilty of assault Smacking father is guilty of assault

A PRIMARY school teacher was yesterday found guilty of assaulting his eight-year-old daughter after smacking her because she would not have a tooth out at the dentist.

The teacher, 48, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted at Hamilton Sheriff Court, near Glasgow, after admitting hitting his daughter.

Sheriff Dan Russell told the man he had caused the child "unnecessary suffering" when he smacked her in the waiting room of a health centre on Christmas Eve 1998.

He said that striking the girl on the bare bottom, combined with the severe force of blows, went beyond the corporal punishment a parent was entitled to use and constituted an assault. Evil intent had been proven.

"The blows were clearly sore and must have caused her pain. In my opinion this was unnecessary suffering. I therefore find the accused guilty of the charge," the sheriff said. He deferred sentencing until after social reports.

A children's charity, Children First, immediately called for greater efforts to be made to make parents aware of the rights and wrongs of disciplining children. "We have been arguing for a while that the law should be tightened up to make it clear what does constitute an offence and what does not," said a spokeswoman.

The court heard how the police were called by a member of health centre staff, who witnessed the teacher assaulting his daughter when the child refused to have a tooth removed.

Yvonne McEwan, 31, a speech therapist, told the court that she saw the man put the girl over his knee, pull down her pants and smack her several times. She said she heard the child screaming, "Daddy, please don't hit me."

Elizabeth Nisbet, 42, a dental practice nurse, described trying to separate the girl from her father. She said: "The man was getting angrier. I had to move from side to side to keep the girl from him."

After the incident, the man was banned from seeing his daughter over Christmas and told to stay away from the family home for two weeks. He is currently suspended on full pay from his job at a primary school. His future is to be decided by North Lanarkshire General Teachers' Council.

Outside the court, the man said: "Many parents and teachers will be looking over their shoulders for fear of litigation. My greatest consolation is my wife and my lovely children. We are very happy. I regret what I did. However, I don't regret my daughter being relieved of toothache over Christmas.

"I am a conscientious father. I think I am a very good father. My daughter is a courageous and brave lassie, a beautiful child and I also have the best wife. This has had a massive effect on my family."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living