A MAN who punched his granddaughter in the head six times after she poured his bottle of alcohol down the sink has been given a suspended sentence.
The Tyrone man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, got angry after the incident during a family dinner.
East Tyrone Magistrates’ Court heard police were called to a house on August 3 after reports of a disturbance.
It transpired the defendant had been drinking throughout the day and the child had previously expressed concern over the levels of alcohol he would consume.
As had occurred in the past, she took a bottle from him and poured it down the sink.
The court heard this usually “amused” her grandfather, but on this occasion he exploded in anger, punching the child six times to the head.
The defendant’s wife and daughter stepped in and removed the youngster to safety.
However he took hold of an ironing board and threw it at them as they tried to escape his anger.
After hearing the facts of the case Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said, “It is hard to think of a more serious breach of trust than an assault of a young child. She is entitled to feel safe and to be suddenly pummelled to the head by her grandfather, who was in a drunken state, can only have been horrific.”
Handing down a sentence of four months custody suspended for two years.
Judge Browne concluded, “You have potentially ruined your relationship with your grandchild and other family members.
“This matter merits custody, but I am prepared to take a chance.”