Lawyers for the Crown and defence have abandoned applications to keep secret the name of a man accused of spanking his three-year old daughter so hard that it left marks on her back and knee.
Interim bans expired Monday after the lawyers told provincial court judge Stella Frame they were no longer prepared to argue a challenge brought by The Daily News against a publication ban on names.
Stanley Okeh is charged with assault causing bodily harm. He is alleged to have spanked his daughter on July 26 last year.
Photographs were shown in court last week of a hand print left on her back as well as redness on the outside of one knee.
The girl was brought to Royal Inland Hospital by her mother, Clarissa Hart the next day. The spanking caused no lasting physical injury.
Okeh, a Nigerian international student at Thompson Rivers University, told an RCMP member in an interview aired in court that it was the first time he’d been left alone with her and had suffered from only three hours sleep that evening. He also said in the interview that he hopes to become a medical doctor one day.
In a text exchange heard in court last week, Okeh told Clarissa Hart that he spanked three-year-old Talia Hart for misbehaviour during a diaper change.
“Why would you hit her so hard?” Clarissa Hart texted.
“She has to learn good and bad from young,” came the reply from Okeh.
Prosecutor Katie Bouchard completed her case last week. Okeh’s lawyer, Sheldon Tate, said he has not determined whether his client will take the stand in his own defence. The trial is expected to resume this month.
Okeh’s nationality may play a part in his defence. In a police interview, an RCMP member asked Okeh if standards of child discipline were different in his home country.