A MAN slapped his 10-year-old daughter around the face after an argument with the girl’s mother.

The Swindon resident hit out at his child earlier this year after his heated discussion woke the girl up.

The man in his 30s, who cannot be named as doing so would identify his daughter, whose identity is protected by the court, was jailed for four months for assault in a hearing on Thursday (May 12).

But it is likely he won’t serve another day after magistrates said the time he spent locked up on remand awaiting sentence will be taken into account.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard that the man had been involved in an argument with his partner in January which woke his children.

“[The girl] indicates that she was asleep, was woken by her mum and dad arguing, tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t,” prosecutor Keith Ballinger told the court.

“There was a loud bang. Her dad then came in, the defendant, took both of their phones, took the case off the [victim’s] phone, and the defendant struck her to the face.

“She described it as an open-palmed slap.

“She described it that it really hurt and describes him as hitting him really hard.”

Mr Ballinger went on to say that the defendant’s son was then woken up, and said that his dad went downstairs and damaged a wi-fi router.

Representing the defendant, Luke Jameson said that his client pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

“[The defendant] has been in custody for just short of four months. He has in effect served his sentence already, if not slightly longer.”

The defendant had previously been charged with engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour, relating to his children’s mother.

Mr Jameson continued: “It is my submission that there was certainly not enough evidence to substantiate that and it is my submission there was evidence to substantiate controlling behaviour on both sides which is why it was discontinued.”

Magistrates decided that the assault on the girl was so serious that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

They jailed him for 16 weeks, reduced from 24 because of his early guilty plea.

“All the time you have been in custody will count towards that,” chairman of the bench Anne Hollingworth told the defendant, appearing via video link from Bullingdon Prison. “It is likely you will be released immediately, or certainly within a few days.”

They imposed no separate penalty for criminal damage, and declined to impose a restraining order preventing him from contacting the mother of his children.