A MAN who was found guilty of hitting a five-year-old girl in Didmarton, has been ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,500 court costs.
Matthew Cropper, 29, of Mark Way, Godalming, Surrey, was convicted by a jury at Gloucester Crown Court on January 30 of cruelty to the child by a majority verdict of 10/2.
The victim’s mother said after the trial: “I was unbelievably proud of my two daughters, aged six and eight, giving evidence in court.
“I felt that I had tried my best to protect my daughter, but the whole process meant that my ability of being a mother was questioned.
“I feel that Cropper may never accept his anger issues.”
Grace Flynn defending said: “Cropper has huge regret that the girls have had to endure giving evidence in court.
“When he doesn’t lose his temper he is a good person to know. However he does recognise the need to control his temper.
“He has a willingness to sort himself out. He is a hard working young man.”
Judge Ian Lawrie QC said: “Cropper delivered a blow to a child. He has not confronted yet his actions. There are a lot of issues that need addressing.”
“You caused her both physical and emotional harm.
“What it shows it that you have a temper, anger management problem. You appear reluctant to confront these issues.
“I heard evidence from the two young girls, compelling evidence about your behaviour.
“Fortunately the violence against the girl was short lived, but only time will tell if there is a long-term physiological problem.
“I believe there are constructive alternatives to custody that will help you from ever hitting a woman or a child ever again.”
The judge sentenced Cropper to an 18-month community order that includes 200 hours of unpaid work and for him to complete 25 rehabilitation days.