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'Reacted in an appalling fashion': Moray mum hit son on footpath

By Ali Morrison

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AN Elgin mum who assaulted her son after he started to "play up" on a walk has been ordered to be of good behaviour.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that the assault took place on the footpath to Lhanbryde...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Elgin Sheriff Court heard that the assault took place on the footpath to Lhanbryde...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Elgin Sheriff Court heard yesterday (Thursday, June 1) that the mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had taken her two children on a walk along the footpath from Elgin to Lhanbryde.

Fiscal depute Karen Poke said that, at around 1.15pm on January 7, 2022, witnesses inside the Grampian Furnishers store saw the woman grab her son by the body, causing him to fall down.

They also saw the mum "striking" him to the torso with her hands.

The witnesses informed Police who found the mum and the two children, aged seven and eight, nearby. The mum was cautioned and charged with assault.

Ms Poke said the children were: “Seen by a specialist paediatrician at Dr Gray’s, who confirmed there was no clear sign of injury."

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood, presiding over the mum's case yesterday, deferred her sentencing for six months.

Addressing her directly, Sheriff Fleetwood said: “You are expected to be of good behaviour during that time."

Solicitor Matthew O’Neill, representing the mum, said the incident was "a memory she's never going to get beyond".

He said: “She had taken her children out for a walk, along the footpath to Lhanbryde.

“Unfortunately the younger child, it became apparent, wasn’t keen to be on the walk.

“The other has begun to play up.

“And she has reacted in an appalling fashion.

“It’s a memory she’s never going to get beyond."

Mr O'Neill also drew attention to the personal issues the mum was experiencing at the time that she assaulted her son.

He mentioned a recent death in the family, anxiety over her starting new employment and "quite a difficult background".

Mr O'Neill said: “Shortly before, there had been a bereavement in the family.

“She was shortly to begin a new period of employment, about which she was very anxious.

“There's quite a difficult background, although I wouldn’t intend to go into that in detail."

Describing the incident as a "one-off", Mr O'Neill said the children had stayed in her full-time care.

He said: “Unfortunately, this is a particularly low one-off."

The case will call again at Elgin Sheriff Court on November 30, 2023.

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