The things we fined
Father fined for smacking child
A 24-year-old Perth man has been fined $750 for smacking his five-year-old daughter and pushing her into a bedroom after she ate lollies against his wishes. Charles David Parker, of Sorrento, was convicted in Fremantle Magistrates Court yesterday of one count of common assault. The court heard that on November 4 last year Parker smacked his child after she took lollies from the kitchen despite being told not to.
Sydney Morning Herald October 22-23, 2005
For anyone who has ever been smacked as a child for doing something naughty, or has smacked their own child for doing something after they told them not to, this must come as much of a shock as it does to me, who can answer to both.
Times change, I understand, but this seems like an extraordinary intervention into family life by the State. I realise it's not open slather, and domestic violence of any kind should be dealt with with the seriousness it deserves, but this isn't any of the ancient instruments of torture that informed Victorian parenting, this is a smack. I guess the point is, where I come from, nobody would bat an eyelid at a district gathering if the host(ess) smacked one of the kids that were mucking up and sent them into their room. Bloody hell, it would be expected!
So now this one individual who is guilty of doing nothing different from his forebears - and a good many of his contemporaries - is publicly named and fined in a process that took a full year to reach judgment. Luckily he has a common name, though it would take a special kind of hypocrisy to shun the man.
I also wonder if the State was kind enough to send Mr P home with some patronising pamphlet on how you should properly discipline your child for his seven hundred and fifty dollars worth. And who, for the love of Pete, saw fit to march to the nearest station with this scandalous report of a father smacking his child for taking lollies?
It sounds like someone may have had a gripe with the defendant and knew the Nanny state would take their charge seriously. It may have even been his cousin Nosey who was over when the incident occurred.