The media is finally identifying DANIEL ROSS as the father who hit his infant son in the head--with a freaking golf club, it seems. Dad had been ignoring court orders to stay away from Mom at the time of the incident, raising questions about how effective these orders are, and how well they're enforced.
Father accused of attacking son was facing other domestic violence charges
September 21, 2009 6:50 p.m.
WINNIPEG - A man accused of hitting his infant son in the head with a golf club, landing the boy in serious condition in hospital, was already facing charges of assaulting his common-law wife and ignoring court orders to stay away from her.
Court documents show Daniel Ross, 23, is facing a charge of assault with a weapon on his common-law wife stemming from an incident in May.
He pleaded guilty in July to failing to comply with a court order not to contact her, and was sentenced to time served - nine days in jail. The next month, he was accused of violating another order not to contact his common-law wife and two other individuals.
Police arrested Ross on Saturday, alleging he went to his wife's home in the troubled Gilbert Park public housing complex in northwest Winnipeg and started arguing with her while she was holding the couple's infant son. Police allege Ross swung a golf club, striking the child in the head. The boy remained in serious but stable condition Monday.
Ross was formally charged Monday with assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and breaking an order to live at a residence further to the east.
The case has raised questions about whether court orders offer much protection to victims in suspected cases of domestic violence. The Opposition Progressive Conservatives said they could not comment on the specific case, but said there is generally a lack of enforcement on court orders.
"People start to get the impression that nobody's going to be doing any checking, that there really isn't any sort of enforcement, so that they're not concerned about getting caught on a breach," Tory justice critic Kelvin Goertzen said Monday.
The NDP government denied the suggestion it has been lax on the issue. The government set up a special unit to connect social workers and police in 2006 and has passed laws making it easier for victims of domestic violence to seek protection orders, Attorney General Dave Chomiak said.
Chomiak suggested the federal government may want to consider making it harder for people who violate court orders to get out on bail.
"It might be feasible to have breach of recognizance perhaps considered a reverse-onus provision - if you breach a recognizance order, you have to then prove why you should be let out by the judge, rather than having the preponderance of evidence to let you go out," Chomiak said.
The assault has also drawn more attention to the Gilbert Park complex, where another baby was attacked three weeks ago. Witnesses spotted a woman bashing the head of a one-year-old girl on pavement. The girl was bruised but did not suffer serious injuries before a neighbour intervened.
Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh vowed Monday to step up security patrols at the complex, but pointed out that in both attacks, the accused persons were visitors who lived elsewhere.