Man convicted on child assault charge

A BENDIGO man has been convicted and fined $800 for striking a six year-old child at Bendigo Primary Care in May.

On Monday, the Bendigo Magistrates Court heard Craig Branson slapped a stranger's child on the back of the head as the child walked past in a waiting room on May 25.

Branson claimed the child "brushed against him" on the way past and was warned not to do it again.

The second instance led to the slap.

The mother and child were escorted out of the room and police were called to the centre.

The court heard Branson suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, is subject to intravenous medication and "spends most of his time at home".

Magistrate David Cottrill said there was no justification for assaulting a child and Branson's behaviour was "very serious".

"You would well understand that to strike a child is completely unjustified," he said.

"They are generally innocent human beings."

Branson was convicted and fined $800 plus $75.50 in costs.


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