What’s wrong with The Herald? Their articles Jimmy Mason on the father who punched his child in the face – and pulled him by the ear, and picked him and his brother up on their bikes and slammed them down – has described him as the ‘ear-flick’ father.
The headline today is ‘Ear flick father found guilty of assault’, ignoring the fact he was found guilty of punching a four year old in the face. Why not the ‘punch in the face’ dad? That would have been more accurate.
In fact, it takes until the third paragraph until the article bothers to mention the punch in the face.
As to the substance of the case. It’s a good decision and few would disagree with that. Even Family Fist’s Bob McCroskie has gone from his initial unconditional support for the ‘punch in the face’ dad to muted criticism.
Yes, ‘punch in the face’ dad might have been charged with assault before the child discipline law came in but he might have been acquitted. After all, under the previous law people were getting away with attacking their children with weapons like horse whips and pipes.
Mason was found not guilty of assault for the bike slams. The jury decided that those actions were too inconsequential. It shows that the law is working: he wasn’t convicted on more minor assaults but he also wasn’t allowed to get away with a punch to the face, which he might have in the past.
[That’s really weird. I’ve reloaded today’s Herald article several times while writing this. The headline changed from ‘Ear flick father found guilty of assault’ to ‘Ear flick father found guilty of assault for punching son’ then back again.. and now back to the second one. What does the physical version say?]