Knuckle-rap after "glorified domestic" dispute

A man who assaulted his step-daughter has been given the benefit of the Probation Act at Mullingar District Court.

John Wallace of Portnashangan, Mullingar pleaded guilty to pushing the girl against the bathroom door and hurting her neck.

Gardaí were called to the home of Mr Wallace’s wife on January 12 this year at 9.30pm following a domestic dispute.

Ms Pauline Brady said that Wallace and his wife had been out for the evening and when they came home he was upset at the way two younger children were being minded by his step-daughter.

The fire had also gone out.

He didn’t think the children were being minded as well as they should have been, she said, and he had been attempting to clean up the bathroom when she followed him in there.

He pushed her to get past her on the way out.

Judge Patrick Clyne said it was intolerable that Wallace should lift his hand to strike a lady even if the context was “a glorified domestic”.

He was also unimpressed that Wallace’s case had been before the court five times before he offered a plea of guilty on a date when the case was set for hearing.

He gave Wallace the benefit of the Probation Act, saying that he didn’t want to see him before the court again.

“I’m sure that when he gets a job he’ll pay tax at the higher rate to repay the state for all the money this has cost,” he observed.

He ordered Wallace to shake his solicitor’s hand to thank her for the “excellent job” she had done on his behalf.

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