Man fined after lifting up child in street

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 13:36 28/03/2014

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A man's joy at getting permanent work led to drinking and an incident at Riccarton where he lifted a 10-year-old girl off the ground.

Judge Jane McMeeken told the 44-year-old: "From the girl's point of view this would have been incredibly frightening. Some drunk man she doesn't know picks her up."

Shaun Alasdair McLay pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting the girl at an appearance in the Christchurch District Court today.

Police said the girl was standing on the footpath outside a bank while her father was inside making a withdrawal.

McLay walked up, picked her up off the ground, and held her in the air.

The girl squealed in shock and slight pain. She was not injured but she was shocked and upset.

Defence counsel Steve Hembrow said McLay had found out that day that his temporary work, which he had been doing for two years, had been made permanent.

He had also seen his five-week-old child for the first time. The child is with his separated partner.

That led to him getting drunk. He mistook the girl for a member of a group of young people he had befriended in the area.

"He accepts he's got a drinking problem," said Hembrow.

He had tried attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings but found that difficult because of his deafness.

He was paying off fines at $30 a week and was doing a sentence of community work.

McLay wished to apologise for what happened.

"He feels deeply ashamed about it," said Hembrow.

Judge McMeeken told McLay his behaviour had been "most unwise" and had happened because of his drinking.

She hoped he acknowledged that drinking had got him in trouble on previous occasions. He had "an unenviable record".

She convicted him and ordered him to pay $300 to the girl as emotional harm reparations.

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- The Press

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