Four months in jail for giving a strong whipping to his daughter

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The Supreme does not see justification for a slap that left the 4-year-old girl marked for four days and that the father gave her because she cried and did not fall asleep

Alfonso Torres

The Supreme Court, by a very large majority, has confirmed the sentence of a Valladolid court that in 2020 sentenced a father to four months in prison for a crime of mistreatment in the family sphere, a father who gave his youngest daughter a strong whipping on the butt , which left his hand marked on the skin for four days.

The Criminal Chamber, which debated the appeal in full, refused to give any protection to the father because it considers that the nature of his crime is perfectly defined by the jurisprudence of the court and that the mistreatment is evident if one takes into account that he gave "a strong whipping a four-year-old girl on the buttocks, which caused injuries even though they did not require medical assistance as it was of such intensity that it left marks on her hand».

Thirteen of the fifteen magistrates in the room fully supported the legal arguments of the rapporteur, Andrés Palomo del Arco, who maintains that the father's aggression is even more unjustifiable when he was not able to explain his act of violence other than with the affirmation that the girl "cried and did not fall asleep".

The Supreme, with this decision, dismisses the appeal filed by the convicted against the judgment of the Provincial Court of Valladolid of March 2021 that confirmed the one issued by the Criminal Court number 1 of the same city. The judge of first instance, in addition to the four months in prison, imposed on the abusive father the prohibition of approaching less than 500 meters from his daughter for one year and four months and the payment of compensation to the minor of 200 euros.

The declared proven facts indicate that the convicted person, at the time of the crime, was separated from his wife and had shared custody of their two children, both minors. The sentence states that on June 8, 2019, when the children were with him at his Valladolid home, he gave her 4-year-old daughter "a strong whipping" on the butt, who did not want to sleep and did not stop crying. As a result of the slap, the judge details, the girl suffered an ecchymotic area in evolution (hematoma) on her left buttock measuring seven by four centimeters and on her right buttock another more tenuous area, measuring three by two centimeters, which despite the swelling He did not require medical assistance and they healed in about four days.

Inadmissible appeal

The Supreme Court ruling, despite ruling out the merits of the claim, explains that the appeal would have been rejected in any case for formal reasons, since it incurs grounds for inadmissibility since it does not justify the appeal of the case. Neither alleges any contradiction between the rulings of the instance and the jurisprudence of the Criminal Chamber, nor does it claim that there are contradictory legal positions on the matter between the resolutions of various provincial courts. It adds, as a third formal reason for inadmissibility, that the convicted person raises new judicial questions, which he did not formulate in the appeal before the Provincial Court of Valladolid, which prevented the magistrates from being able to rule on them in the appealed sentence, for which reason also the inadmissibility would be sufficiently justified.

The sentence, however, includes a dissenting opinion by Judge Pablo Llarena, joined by his partner Ángel Luis Hurtado, in which he considers that the appealed sentence does contradict the doctrine of the Supreme Criminal Chamber on mistreatment in the family sphere and that the “fair, humane and prudent” solution in this case would have been the acquittal of the accused, because both consider that the proven facts of the resolution are not subsumable in the criminal category whose improper application the convicted person denounces.

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