Dad backhands stepdaughter over clothing choice
A GLENWOOD man has been convicted of assault after backhanding his 13-year-old stepdaughter because he was not happy with how she was dressed.
The 35-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to two charges before Maryborough magistrate Terry Duroux.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Kathryn Stagoll said the teen had been raking up leaves in the garden and taking them to a fire pit when the incident occurred on August 17.
Sgt Stagoll said the stepfather told the girl to put a top on, to which she replied she was already wearing one.
"He then backhanded her before following her to the back of the house where he pushed her," she said.
Sgt Stagoll handed up a criminal history but insisted it was not the issue at hand.
"A 13-year-old girl should never end up with bruises to her body as a result of disciplinary action," she told Mr Duroux.
The man's lawyer, Natasha McKeough, said the injuries sustained by the girl were not significant.
"The age of the girl and breakdown of trust make this a serious offence," Ms McKeough said.
She said her client acknowledged it was a "stupid mistake" and had co-operated with police.
The court heard the girl had since been removed from the family and was living with her grandmother in Brisbane.
Mr Duroux did not hold back when sentencing the man.
"The most important job you will ever have is being a parent," Mr Duroux said.
"Your response was totally unacceptable. It involved a young person and was a complete breach of her trust."
He said a clear message must be sent to the community that this can never be tolerated.
Mr Duroux fined the stepfather $1000.
The conviction was recorded.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.