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Tuesday, August 10, 1999 Published at 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK


Scot convicted of belting daughter

A previous case saw a teacher convicted of smacking his daughter

A Scottish father who repeatedly hit his 11-year-old daughter with a leather belt has been convicted of assault.

The Aberdeen man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his child, claimed he used "reasonable chastisement" to punish his daughter who he suspected was involved in solvent abuse.

However, Sheriff Craig Caldwell told the accused at Aberdeen Sheriff Court that he had been "wholly misguided".

Sentence on the man was deferred for reports.

The case is the latest in a series of actions against men whose methods of parental discipline has been questioned by the courts.

[ image: The case was heard in Aberdeen Sheriff Court]
The case was heard in Aberdeen Sheriff Court
In a highly-publicised case earlier this year, a Scottish teacher was brought before Hamilton Sheriff Court accused of smacking his eight-year-old daughter while in a dentist's waiting room.

He was admonished in June and is planning to appeal against the action.

A second recent case involved a Scottish grandfather who was convicted of assaulting his grandson in the street. He was later given an absolute discharge by a sheriff at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

In this latest action, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told that when the mother of the child learned of the beating she alerted social services who in turn reported it to the police.

The girl said she was hit with her father's leather belt on her naked buttocks and thighs around 11 times.

The father argued he had struck the girl only three times and that her jeans and pants had not been pulled down at the time.

He said his sole intention was to force her to stop sniffing aerosol cans.

Daughter's evidence

The girl recalled how her father had ordered her into his bedroom when she had returned home on Sunday, 26 April after spending most of the day with friends.

The girl, whose parents do not live together, recalled: "He twisted the belt round and smacked me lots of times. I was screaming. He hit me about 10 to 11 times."

She denied she had been sniffing from aerosols on the day in question although she admitted she had done so on other occasions.

When she was accused by her father's lawyer, Alistair Drummond, of lying, the girl replied: "You might not believe me because he is an adult and I am a child."

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