The pillow attack case is interesting because t both can and can not be linked to the S59 debate. The Herald reports:
A judge has thrown out an assault case against a man who threw a cushion at his nephew’s head following an argument with the boy’s mother.
George Taylor was accused of assault last New Year’s Eve following an argument about whether the mother of the 6-year-old was being overprotective of her children.
He threw a small decorative cushion at his nephew’s head, and although the mother did not see the incident, she called the police. …
At the hearing, the boy, who was speaking from behind a protective screen shielding him from the accused, told the court that the pillow strike had not really hurt and that he felt no ill-will towards his uncle.
The boy said he had been hit on the top of the head, had not been injured and had not been sore.
Now in a literal sense, this case has nothing to do with S59 as the defendent was an uncle, not a parent. In fact it is due to the complaint from a parent, that it proceeded at all. So some would argue it is protecting parents rights.
However others may argue that as the law now places parents on much the same platform as all other adults, a parent may now have to fear a pillow fight leading to charges. Personally I think that is over-reaching, as the key thing here is it is the parent, not the child, who insisted on charges.
Yesterday in court, the judge said a trial would potentially damage the boy and dismissal of the case was in the overall interests of justice.
The judge also blasted the police as “ridiculous” and “petty” for bringing action against Mr Taylor.
This is the aspect that will cause more legitimate concern amongst opponents of the anti-smacking law. The Government and PM puts great stock in the discretion available to Police. When you see the Police applying such discretion badly, it makes you nervous.
On the other hand, the system worked. The court correctly threw it out and reamed the Police. But a pity Mr Taylor had to go through a year of stress over something that should never have been a criminal matter.