Caning father claims to be victim of miscarriage of justice

A SUNSHINE Coast father who beat his daughter with a bamboo stick to discipline her has argued he potentially suffered a devastating miscarriage of justice because a booklet on family violence was found in the jury room after they delivered a guilty verdict against him for assault.

The man, who cannot be named to protect his daughter's identity, told the Queensland Court of Appeal that even the Maroochydore trial judge was concerned about the jury having such material, which had not been tested in court, even though they were told they must not conduct any investigation themselves.

The father, who was sentenced to 120 hours of community service, argued the booklet could only have led the jury to conclude he was guilty of domestic and family violence and therefore deliver a guilty verdict.

"I believe any reasonable person would say that this is potentially a very influential piece of reading material," he said.

He claims he has a defence to the assault charge he faced because section 280 of the Queensland Criminal Code allowed a parent to use reasonable force for the correction, discipline, management or control of a child.

This exception is not mentioned in the domestic and family violence booklet.

The 14-year-old daughter gave evidence during the trial that her father dealt two series of blows with long stick on November 20, 2011, after he caught her using her iPod and she swore under her breath.

The dad, representing himself, said in the appeal court in Brisbane on Thursday that his behaviour that day was self-defence, discipline or restraint.

An appeal court justice said suggesting his actions were self-defence was absurd.

"You daughter ended up with her hands on a wall with you administering corporal punishment with her back to you," he said.

"Now that's got nothing whatsoever to do with self-defence."

The Pacific Paradise dad said the reason her hands were on the wall was to protect her from injuring her knuckles.

The dad told the appeal court his daughter kicked at him in retaliation so he had to continue disciplining her for "consistency".

He said his daughter was "a wonderful girl" who he had never heard swear before.

"The whole situation was totally out of character and totally surprising," he said.

"But if you smacked a child for swearing at you and then she kicks at you or defies you or punches you or kicks you to the ground, do you not discipline that?"

Crown prosecutor Phil McCarthy said the booklet could not have distracted the jury from the judge's redirections.

The court reserved its decision.


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