Reuters, May 19, 1999

British father convicted of assault for spanking

EDINBURGH, May 19 (Reuters) - A British father who spanked his daughter in public was convicted of assault on Wednesday in a Scottish court, officials said.

The unidentified man will be sentenced at a later date, a spokeswoman at the Hamilton Sheriff Court in central Scotland told Reuters.

The man yanked his eight-year-old daughter by the arm and struck her bare buttocks six or seven times after she refused to have a tooth extracted at a dentist's office, the court was told. A speech therapist at the office who witnessed the spanking telephoned social workers who called the police. The man was arrested on Christmas Eve last year. Police said in court that the man, a teacher, had told them after his arrest that he regretted the spanking.

``It was only to persuade her to avoid unnecessary suffering from severe toothache which she had suffered and with the best intentions in mind. I regret having spanked her and that's all I have to say at the moment,'' they quoted him as saying.

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