A father accused of hitting his three-year old daughter hard enough to leave marks on her back and leg told the mother in a text message exchange that he spanked the child to teach her a lesson.
The man is on trial for a single count of assault causing bodily harm. Provincial court judge Stella Frame granted and extended interim bans Wednesday forbidding publication of names of the girl, the accused man as well as the girl's mother and grandmother.
The girl was brought to Royal Inland Hospital in July last year after her mother discovered marks, including a handprint on her back. The accused man told an RCMP member in an interview that it was the first time he'd been left alone with the girl and had suffered from only three hours sleep that evening.
The mother came home and saw the marks on July 27, 2011. She took her daughter to the hospital to have the marks looked at by a doctor.
At the hospital the mother texted the father: "You smack (the daughter) on the back by any chance?"
The accused man did not respond. Later the mother appealed again by text, "Can you answer me please?"
A text exchange ensued between the two parents.
Later he responded, "Yo, you call me?"
"No, I asked you if you hit (my daughter)."
"Spanked. I said I spanked her."
"Across her back?"
"Spanked?" she questioned again. "?"
"Ya," he responded.
"That's way more than a spank."
"Did you spank her leg too?" she asked further.
"Why would you hit her so hard?" the mother texted again.
"She has to learn good and bad from young," came the reply.
"Not like that. That will never happen again."
Again she texted, "I was giving you a chance to be with your daughter. I will never leave you with her again."
Crown prosecutor Katie Bouchard called as a witness the RCMP member who took photographs of the injuries and also interviewed the accused father. Also testifying were the girl's mother and grandmother.
The trial was adjourned. The next step is to set a hearing on formal requests by the Crown and defence to extend publication bans. Following that, defence lawyer Sheldon Tate is expected to present his case.
The defence case is expected to hinge on the rights of a parent to discipline a child, including corporal punishment.