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Drunk dad beat up his 10-yr-old son putting him in hospital for 3 days because he wanted to see cartoons on television.

Byline: OLIVIA KELLEHER

A FATHER who savagely beat his son in a drunken rage after he asked to watch cartoons on TV was jailed for nine months yesterday.

Gerard Quilty, of Mallow, Co Cork, pleaded guilty last month to assaulting 10-year-old Christopher.

Mallow District Court had heard that the child spent three days in hospital after his father beat him with a hard plastic toy truck.

He had suffered extensive bruising to his neck, back and spine.

The court was told last month that the attack on January 21 was provoked when Christopher jokingly threw a soft toy at his father after he refused to change channels.

Quilty, 39, of Seamus Murphy Place, turned on his son and beat him with his fists.

The assault ended when the child's mother heard shouting and came in to the room.

Christopher ran out of the house to his grandmother's home where the authorities were alerted.

Sentencing in the case was adjourned last month when Judge Michael Patwell said that he would like to hear the child's version of the incident.

The young boy told the court that he had made up the story about the assault and went on to claim that his father didn't hit him.

He said he argued with his father about changing channels and the pair ended up falling - resulting in him cut himself.

The boy said: "My dad is a good man. I just got mad and told a lot of lies."

Christopher's mother, Christine, withdrew statements she had previously made and told the court the child's father had not assaulted her son.

She said the young boy had told his father to "F*** off" and became hyperactive, grabbing a poker and a plastic toy.

"He (Christopher) ran out the door with the mobile phone and the next thing I knew the guards were at the door," she added.

But Judge Patwell, pointed to the child's medical report asking Ms Quilty how her son had ended up with his injuries.

She said her husband had not hit the child and only tried to "control him."

The judge said there had been contradicting statements in court but said he believed the true story was that the child had been beaten by his father.

He believed Quilty had "over-reacted" to his son's request to change channels

Bail was fixed, pending appeal, at EUR600.

CAPTION(S):

CHILD BEATER: Quilty yesterday; CHANGED STORIES: Christine Quilty and son Christopher leave the Mallow courthouse yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 8, 2002
Words:412
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