Kildare man jailed for nine months after he gave his eight-year-old son a small tattoo

Report from the courts

Kildare man jailed for giving 8-year-old son tattoo

Athy courthouse

A man who cannot be named to protect the identity of his son has been jailed for nine months at Athy District Court after he made a small tattoo on his son's arm.

The incident was reported to the Gardaí by the boy's mother.

The man, who is serving a sentence, will serve the nine month sentence at the same time as his current sentence.

He pleaded guilty to the offence, assault causing harm, during an access visit to his son in August 2017, the parents being separated.

The court was told by Garda Sergeant Brian Jacob for the prosecution that as far as he was aware the case was the first of its kind involving a tattoo.

The tattoo was a one centimetre dot, done with a tattoo gun with a needle point.

When the boy's mother took him to hospital, it was treated as a “needle stick injury.”

Aishling Murphy BL, for the man, said he did not accept he gave the tattoo against his son's wishes.

She said the man's son, who was eight-years-old at the time, asked for the tattoo and her client “gave in.”

His son was “all jolly about it,” he said. “Under no circumstances would he hold down a child and give him a tattoo,” she said.

His son had been talking about “dragons, football players and superheroes” and other family members had tattoos.

The man asked there be no convictions for the sake of future relations with his son.

He said he was afraid that other children would point out to his son that he got his father jailed. “It's a harsh world outside the court. I will make it up to my son,” said the man.

The man's case is that after applying the tattoo, he realised the impact it could have. The court was told by the prosecution that the child had told a doctor that he did not want it done.

The man has not seen his son since. “Both of us are suffering,” the man said.

Judge Desmond Zaidan was also told that there was no victim impact statement from the man's son.

Sgt Jacob also said that the mother did not wish to make a statement and was happy for the Gardaí to speak on her behalf in the court.

Judge Zaidan said he was caught between not wanting to disadvantage the man's son and the seriousness of the offence.

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