A FATHER assaulted his young daughter as she was cradled in her mother’s arms, Scarborough Magistrates’ Court heard.
Christopher Helm, 30, of Trafalgar Square, admitted assaulting the child, who is of pre-school age, as well as her mother, whom he had been in a relationship with for six years.
He avoided an immediate jail term, although a restraining order was imposed forbidding him from contacting either of his victims.
Katy Varlow, prosecuting, said that the incident had taken place on March 27 in Harvest Way, Eastfield.
She added: “The complainant and defendant went out together for the morning to Filey with their young daughter.
“After they got home the defendant went to the pub with his friend. At around 3pm the complainant picked him up from the pub, and she describes him becoming aggressive.
“Once they returned home she picked their daughter up. As she tried to get past him he grabbed his partner by the throat and pushed her into the wall while she was holding the child.”
The incident then continued in the bedroom.
“The defendant swung out an open palm,” Mrs Varlow added. “He missed his partner and slapped the young child, who was jolted back.
“The woman got out onto the landing, but he followed her. While she was still hanging on to her daughter he pushed her on her left shoulder, causing the child to bang her head.”
Helm had initially denied both charges of assault, but changed his plea to guilty on the day his trial was due to take place. The court heard that Helm had a previous conviction for assaulting the same woman, and that he had been violent towards the woman on a number of occasions in the past.
Nick Tubbs, mitigating, pleaded with magistrates not to impose a custodial sentence.
“He came out of prison towards the end of last year and found work four weeks ago with a local company,” he said.
“It is work he enjoys and wishes to keep. He has two children and he hopes to be able to provide for them. He is already in communication with the Child Support Agency.
“He accepts it was regrettable that he tried to effect a reconciliation with the woman. He says categorically that he understands the relationship is over, but he remains the father of the child.
“He knows he is facing punishment, but I would ask you to deal with him in such a way that he maintains his liberty.”
David Varley, the chairman of the bench, said: “These offences were so serious only a custodial sentence is appropriate. This was a prolonged incident and involved an assault on a young child. However, we will suspend the sentence.”
Mr Varley added: “You are very lucky to be a free man.”
The 16-week prison sentence was suspended for 18 months. Helm was ordered to pay £100 compensation to his adult victim and £200 costs.
He was also told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and undergo supervision. The restraining order will remain in place for four years.