Court to decide whether this spanking was a criminal assault
UPDATE: Lawyers abandoned their publication-ban applications on Monday, July 16. The accused can now be identified as Stanley Okeh.
A Kamloops father is on trial facing a charge of assault for what he described as a “spanking” — a smack alleged to have left his three-year-old daughter with a palm imprint on her back.
The accused cannot be identified under a temporary court-imposed publication ban, aimed at protecting the identity of his daughter.
The 26-year-old, who is from Nigeria, but has lived in Kamloops for five years, was arrested a week after the July 26, 2011, incident.
He has been free on bail since last August.
Court heard the night of the incident was the accused’s first time alone with his daughter. In an interview with police following his arrest, he described the toddler as “mischievous” during the babysitting session.
He admitted to spanking the girl while changing her diaper.
“I was trying . . . I was discipline to make her better,” he said in the interview with police.
The girl’s mother noticed the marks on her daughter the following day and began a text-message conversation with the accused.
She asked him about a “red outline of a hand” on the girl’s back and asked if he smacked her.
“I said spank. I did spank her,” the accused replied.
The girl’s mom then told the accused the incident left the girl with blood blisters and a large red mark.
“She has to learn good and bad from young,” he replied.
Testifying in court on Wednesday, July 11, the mother said the red marks on the girl’s back were visible for about a week.
The trial will continue at a later date.
Lawyers will meet on Monday, July 16, to determine when a publication-ban hearing will take place.
KTW is considering filing an application in opposition to the ban on the accused’s name.
Defence lawyer Sheldon Tate said he is waiting to see how Judge Stella Frame rules on the publication ban before deciding whether his client will take the stand in his own defence.