Valencia courts and ‘spare the rod’ rulings

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THE Valencia high court has reversed two rulings affecting parents previously convicted of ill-treating their children. The first successful appeal related to Lorena who lost custody of her daughter, 8, for two years after slapping her daughter twice and throwing a pencil case at her.

The incident occurred in 2008 after 33-year-old Lorena saw a note from one of her daughter’s teachers complaining about her lack of achievement at school.

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“I was very cross with her. I slapped her twice and punished her,” Lorena admitted.

Her ex-husband’s family took the child to the police station where they made a formal complaint and Lorena, who had no police record, was sentenced to 56 days of community service.

Custody of her daughter was withdrawn for two years and contact with her was barred for the same length of time.


A slap with no intention of producing harm, that left no mark and was carried out to correct an offspring’s insolent behaviour, violence or aggressiveness “did not deserve penal reproach,” ruled the appeal court.

Another Valencia high court appeal recorded a similar verdict at the beginning of April and reversed a 12-month prison sentence and restraining order handed to the father of a 15-year-old.

The man hit his son on the head and pulled his hair to make him get out of bed but the violence between father and son was not imposed by the father, said the court.


Instead, although there was verbal and physical violence between both, it was the result of the father’s inability to discipline the boy in any other way, ruled the appeal judge.

 

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