Yes, we know the competition is fierce, but a new contender has emerged for Britain's Worst Dad, in the shape of Keith MacDonald – a philanderer who has allegedly fathered 11 children with 10 different women, and was in court accused of kicking and punching his former partner and hitting their three-year-old daughter's head with a fridge door.
'Feckless' is too inadequate a word, it would seem.
MacDonald's entry for Worst Dad status was brought to our attention when he appeared in court, charged with attacking his ex-lover Clare Bryant at her home in Houghton-Le-Spring, County Durham, before injuring the toddler.
Ms Bryant, who has two children with unemployed MacDonald, suffered cuts and scratches in the row.
Despite pleading not guilty to two charges of assault, MacDonald admitted committing the offences on June 11 before Sunderland Magistrates' Court on Friday.
Paul Doney, prosecuting, described how MacDonald came round to drop off some money while the victim was getting her daughters, aged two and three, ready.
He said: "She asked him to go away, then he asked for his sunglasses and was asked by the injured party to stay where he was while she got them.
"He tried to push past her, then grabbed her hair and pulled her down before kicking her in the face and punching her to the head.
"He was pushed back towards the yard as a neighbour shouted at them.
"The defendant again asked for his sunglasses. She was going to get them and call the police."
The pair then argued about her owing his uncle money for a fridge and he vowed to 'wreck' it. MacDonald then flung the fridge door open, hitting the three-year-old on the back of the head.
Mr Doney said: "She ran at him and forced him out of the house and threw his sunglasses at him.
"Both she and her daughter went to hospital. She had a three to four inch graze on her neck and cuts on her hand.
"Her daughter was not physically injured but her head was hot, believed to be due to the impact from the fridge door.
Ms Bryant, in a statement read out to the court, said: "All I could think, when Keith was punching me to the face, was 'oh my God, I hope the bruises don't show when I take the bairns to school'."
Gavin Sword, defending MacDonald, told the court he had a 'slightly different version of events' to his ex.
Mr Sword said: "He accepts there was a struggle and in the course of that struggle, he caused the injuries she has stated in her account, with the possible exception of the cut on her right hand, which he does not accept he caused initially.
"The struggle was taking place in the doorway. A sharp nail was sticking out and he thinks she cut her hand on that."
Mr Sword said that MacDonald, who has a history of violence against women, had not intended to hit the little girl, but accepted his actions were reckless and was seeking help managing his anger.
MacDonald was granted conditional bail while a Probation Service report was prepared, looking at all options, including a jail term.
Jean Brown, chairman of the bench, told him he must obey an electronically-monitored curfew between 7pm to 7am.
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