Dad who slapped 3yo son to the ground, fails DV court appeal
A GYMPIE region man who slapped his three-year-old son for dropping a guinea pig has failed in his attempt to have a domestic violence order overturned on appeal.
The man, aged 59 at the time the protection order was made and unable to named under the law, had asked the District Court of Queensland to overturn the order, claiming a lack of procedural fairness and a miscarriage of justice.
The order prohibited him from coming within 100m of his partner, aged 36 at the time, and their five children (all aged 6 or under) for five years.
They met in the Philippines in 2016, and she moved to Gympie in 2018.
He said the decision of the woman’s solicitor to hand him a protection order application only minutes before a November 2019 hearing in Gympie Magistrates Court caught him by surprise.
He was self-represented after being unable to secure Legal Aid, and English was not his primary language.
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The court heard a main allegation at the 2019 hearing was that he “struck their three-year-old child to the face, with sufficient force to cause the child to fall to the ground, after the child forcefully dropped a pet guinea pig”.
“The (partner) variously deposed that (the man) then commenced stomping on or kicking
the child on the ground and when the respondent sought to intervene he punched her
once to the arm.”
Erratic violent, outbursts and vulgar language in front of the children were among other allegations aired at the hearing, and that he limited her access to money for food “including when he would travel away for up to a month and only leave her with $10 or $20 for the duration of his absence”.
He admitted to slapping the child, and accused her of “always planning on moving to Australia anyway and ‘gaining control’ of the children by way of the protection order” and failing to adhere to a family law order, leaving him without access to his children.
The court heard the Magistrate accepted the man had slapped the child and the allegations of financial control, but did not accept the stomping claims as “as the photographs of the injuries did not seem to bear that out”.
Judge Michael Byrne dismissed the man’s appeal on all grounds.
He said that “notwithstanding the undesirability of the respondent’s solicitor providing written submissions at the time they were provided, I cannot be satisfied that the appellant was denied procedural fairness, nor that there was any other relevant unfairness associated with the delivery of the submissions in the particular circumstances of the matter”.