Man had no right to smack girl, 3

A MAGISTRATE told a Maroochydore man he had no right to discipline a three-year-old Bundaberg girl who was waving a small Aussie flag in his face.

Reginald John Marshall was sitting at a computer at his son's home in Bundaberg, when he grabbed the flag from the visiting child and hit her across the back. A red welt appeared and the child started crying.

The child's 18-year-old brother decided to take his sister home. Mr Marshall pushed him out the door and he stumbled on to the lawn.

Mr Marshall grabbed the teen in a headlock and punched him in the head several times. The teen broke free and dropped the child home.

When he returned to apologise for the incident, Mr Marshall approached him with fists up and punched him again. He chased the teen to his car, pulled his belt from his pants, wrapped it around his hand and punched the windscreen, shattering it.

Solicitor Michael Robinson said his client was not intoxicated and was aiming for the three-year-old's buttocks when he hit her with the flag.

“He believed it was domestic discipline,” he said.

Mr Robinson said his client was on a disability pension after years of alcohol and drug abuse, and mental health issues.

Magistrate John Hodgins suspended a three-month jail sentence for 18 months after listening to the “family saga” that unravelled as a result of his actions.

“It's not your responsibility to be the disciplinarian of that child,” he said. “It's disgraceful.”

Marshall must pay the $240 for the damaged windscreen.

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