Mum On Trial For Child Cruelty After Hitting Daughter, 9, On Hand With Wooden Spoon

angered businesswoman in apron holding a wooden spoon
angered businesswoman in apron holding a wooden spoon

A mum is standing trial for child cruelty after she smacked her nine-year-old daughter on the hand with a wooden spoon after she lied about borrowing money from her friend during a school trip to the zoo.

The mother was brought to court after her daughter reported the incident to teachers who called in police.

She has been charged with three counts of cruelty to a person under the age of 16.

Croydon Crown Court was told that the 50-year-old received a call at work from her child's teacher who said her daughter had borrowed some cash from a friend but hadn't given it back.

The mother went to confront the girl in her bedroom and found her holding a piggy bank containing her friend's change.

The mum told the court she gave her daughter three warnings before smacking her on the hand to try to make her stop 'scratching the piggy bank'.

Prosecutor Deanne Heer said the daughter 'has described 20 or 30' occasions in which her mother hit her with the spoon.

She said: "In 2012 you accept that you disciplined your daughter with the wooden spoon.

"There was the occasion when she went to Canterbury Zoo and she borrowed some money which she didn't give back.

"So far as you were concerned there was absolutely no reason why she should borrow money from her school friend."

The mother replied that her daughter had 'kept some back, making her friend cry'.

She added: "It didn't upset me that she didn't tell me. I wasn't cross."

Ms Heer continued: "You decided you would go into her room before she went to school and have a conversation. Why did you take a wooden spoon with you?"

The mother, from Orpington, south east London, replied: "I didn't. I went to her bedroom to ask what happened about the money issue. She said there was nothing that happened.

"I said 'you tell me, because I got a call yesterday that you took some money off your friend'.

"I did go and get the wooden spoon because I wanted her to tell me what had happened because she was lying.

"As I was talking I was asking 'where is your friend's change?'"

The mum added: "She had a piggy bank. As I was asking her questions she was scratching on the piggy bank. I said 'stop scratching it' and that was all she got - a gentle tap to get her to stop scratching."

Ms Heer said: "You lost your self control."

The mum replied: "No, that's not what happened. The cry she made was not proportionate to the tap."

The mother said she then noticed a blister on her child's hand and took her down to the kitchen to apply ice.

She also denied that it was a 'foot-long' spoon that police showed her in an interview, saying it was a small 'salad spoon'.

The trial continues.