A young father left his two-year-old daughter on the side of the road to get revenge after his ex-girlfriend left.
The man then took photographs of the abandoned child before sending them to her mother and driving off.
The child was found crying and frightened at 5 am by two passers-by.
The man, who is in his 20s, appeared before Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal where he pleaded guilty to charges of child cruelty.
The court ordered that the child’s father not be named to protect the infant’s identity.
Garda Sergeant Frank McDaid from Letterkenny Garda Station laid out details of the horrific incident in court.
He said two men returning from a night out in Letterkenny in August 2020 initially thought they heard a baby crying.
To their horror, they found a small child in socks and bare feet holding a bottle of milk at the entrance to a construction site, reports The Mirror.
They immediately started knocking on the doors of local houses, thinking that the child had run away from one of the houses by accident.
However, none of the responders recognized the little girl and the Gardaí were contacted.
The child was rushed into a squad car and covered because it was cold.
A woman then called the Garda station and explained that the missing child was her daughter and that she had been in her father’s care earlier in the night.
The court heard that the man was jealous that his ex-partner was away and called the woman at least 30 times, threatening to abandon the child, reports The Mirror.
At 4:30 am, the husband threatened his ex-partner that he would leave the child if she did not tell him where she was.
The man finally followed through on his threat, but not before taking a photo of the child alone by the side of the road and sending it to her mother and sister before driving off.
A full investigation was launched, and CCTV was found which shows the man driving off and leaving the child alone, reports The Mirror.
Gardaí arrested the accused and when confronted he told them: “Aye, I was expecting this silly thing.”
He was interviewed four times and admitted taking the child out of bed and leaving him in Letterkenny and said his temper got the best of him.
He also admitted that “anything could have happened to the child” but said he was on medication for depression, which he stopped.
A victim statement on behalf of the child’s mother says the child still struggles to be with other people and will only stay with her parents.
The young woman said her daughter or herself had never been through anything so traumatic, but she said they would get through it.
The court was also told that the young man had not seen his daughter since the incident.
The defendants’ solicitor, Ms Fiona Crawford, said her client was rightly ashamed of what he had done and was very remorseful, reports The Mirror.
Ms Crawford said her client admitted he had used the child as collateral in a jealous relationship and was unapologetic.
Ms Crawford added: “He had lost the head and temper got at him. He was taking matters out on his child. She would have been scared and confused. There is no excuse and he is so disappointed, disgusted and ashamed of himself,” reports The Mirror.
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