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Right decision? David Hardy Tesco shopper fined after punching five day old baby he thought was a doll

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David Hardy Tesco shopper
Pictured, baby Elsa mother, Amy Duckers to the left and David Hardy Tesco shopper to the right.
David Hardy Tesco shopper
Pictured, baby Elsie Temple mother, Amy Duckers to the left and David Hardy Tesco shopper to the right.

David Hardy Tesco shopper tells a Manchester court that he believed a baby he punched was a doll, leading to him only being fined and not serving jail.

Furore has come to the fore after a judge found 64 year old Tesco shopper, David Hardy guilty after punching a 5 day old baby whom the man told the court he believed to be a doll as she sat in her mother’s trolley.

While the family of five day old Elsie Temple may have been initially jubilated they were soon outraged when the sitting district judge, Sam Goozee in turn simply chose to fine the company director and father of one as opposed to sentencing him to community service or worse, jail.

Fined £900 ($1118 USD) and ordered to pay £100 ($124 USD) compensation to his victim and £500 ($620 USD) costs, with the judge rejecting Hardy’s defense as ‘implausible’ it wasn’t long before witnesses told of observing the family of both David Hardy and the child’s mother, Amy Duckers, 27 violently bickering in the court and soon there after on the streets outside noted the mirror.

Screamed Elsie’s grandfather, John Duckers as he stormed out of the court, this is a ‘fucxking joke, mate.’

Matters first came to the fore on September 5 when Duckers had gone out with her sleeping baby for the very first time along with her seven year old daughter, Libby Brown to a Tesco supermarket in Baguley, Manchester.

It was while shopping that David Hardy notes a report via the Manchester Evening News approached the family and punched the baby whilst she was being pushed in a carry cot, leading to the newborn baby immediately crying out in pain.

The company director would later tell the court that he had approached the accompanying 7 year old daughter in a bid to get a ‘playful ruse out of her,’ before in turn with a ‘light’ fist flicking the child whom he thought to be a doll.

Addressing the court, Hardy told how he curled his fingers and flicked at what he thought was a doll, adding: ‘I thought I was just going to make the girl laugh. I don’t know why I thought that. I thought it was a little girl’s dolly. I realize now it wasn’t but at the time.’

Rather than conjuring up a ‘good laugh,’ the flick led to the child viscerally crying while incurring a red mark the size of an egg on its head with the seven year old daughter crying hysterically to her mother, ‘Is she going to die?’

Asked why he’d just punched her baby daughter, the mother alleges David Hardy at the time denying punching the child before proceeding to walk down a shopping aisle.

It was only after he had seen that he had indeed marked the mother’s baby that the ‘stunned’ company director admitted punching the child, all the while maintaining that he thought she was a doll.

Which of course begets the question how often do people, let alone total strangers, go about punching dolls in the public terrain, if ever?

Upon police being called, the company director soon found himself arrested.

Taken to hospital where the child was kept under observation for seven hours, baby Elsie Temple was released back to the care of her family the next day.

 David Hardy Tesco shopper
Pictured the Tesco, Baguley, Manchester supermarket where David Hardy is accused of assaulting baby Elsid Temple.

Appearing in court, David Hardy of Greater Manchester while conceding he had hit the baby pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault, insisting he had no intention of hurting a baby.

Told the company director: ‘It looked like a doll to me. I made a dreadful mistake. It is ridiculous but it is what happened’.

A line of defense which the judge called ‘implausible.’

Added the judge: ‘It was strange and concerning behavior and impossible to explain.  Elsie was a vulnerable five day old baby. I accept that this was a exceptional case. I also accept that it was spontaneous, it lacked any pre meditation and I do believe it was completely out of character. The impact it had on Elsie’s mother was clear’.  

Responding to the court’s decision to simply fine the company director as opposed to forcing him to more onerous punishment, (there was a possibility of the company director being jailed six months), the child’s mother, Amy Duckers said: 

‘Basically, it means you can punch a five-day-old baby and all you will get is a £900 fine. It’s sickening. The judge was satisfied he knew he was hitting a baby but then fines him. I’m literally gobsmacked.’

‘Hardy knew full well she was a baby. He admitted he’d come over to see a baby.’

Added the child’s grandfather, John Duckers: ‘He may as well have let him off with nothing. Accident or not that baby has been assaulted. It’s disgusting I can’t believe it. That’s just one month’s pay for him. Should have been a custodial sentence for him’.

What do you think? Did the court make the right decision or did David Hardy manage to get away with what perhaps any other day laborer person had done would be sitting inside a jail cell this very evening.

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