Mother convicted of domestic violence assault after smacking her daughter.

“The discipline was a vicious assault. You can say it’s cultural discipline. I don’t agree.’’

A five-year old girl in her ballet costume stands in the street outside a restaurant. Her tired arms are in the air forced there by her mummy, warm tears running down her face. She sobs as her mother slaps her in her stomach.

She cries unstoppable tears as her mother berates her.

Loud, angry words over and over again. Her mother forces her arms in the air again and makes her hold her hands above her head and smacks her again with a closed fist in her stomach.

For more than 30 minutes the five-year old was forced to stand outside the restaurant with her hands in the air.

At one stage the little girl tried to hug her mother, sobbing, begging her for forgiveness but her mother just pushed the little ballerina’s arms back in the air. Berating her again.

Discipline or abuse?

A mother teaching her child to behave “her way” or an innocent child unjustly treated?

The scene was caught on camera by a passer-by and showed to a court who yesterday ruled that the 40-year old Sydney mother, originally from Korea had assaulted her five-year old daughter.

The woman, who required a Korean interpreter at Newtown Local Court found it her turn to sob as she was convicted of domestic violence assault over the July incident.

The mother forced the little girl to stand with her hands in the air.

She had faced six charges but five other assault charges were withdrawn.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the little girl had been more focused on her ballet outfit while lunching at the restaurant and hadn’t eaten her lunch.

Her mother ordered her child to stand outside the family’s Korean restaurant in the inner west for at least 30 minutes. A passer-by filmed the mother smacking the girl, and proceeding to walk back and forth into the restaurant returning each time the little girl’s arms flopped down from her forced position of having them up in the air.


She was seen slapping her daughter in the stomach several times as well as hitting her with the back of a closed fist.

The court heard that each time she smacked her daughter she forced the little girl to step forwards and backwards all the tiny ballerina was crying and dribbling.

At one point The Daily Telegraph reports the little girl tried to hug her mother, reaching out to her sobbing “but was rebuked and her arms were grabbed and pushed back in the air. “

Across the road a witness watched the ordeal, filmed it and notified police.

An hour later the police tracked the woman down to the little girl’s swimming lesson where the little girl told them “Mummy hurt me, mummy hit my belly, with her hand, because I wouldn’t eat my food,”

In court the lawyer acting for the mother requested the guilty plea be accepted without recording a conviction.

The lawyer, Athena Touriki, said this type of discipline was common in South Korea and her client had experienced it herself at school.

But the magistrate rejected her request.

“This cannot be justified in anyway in terms of cultural discipline,” he said.

“The discipline was a vicious assault. You can say it’s cultural discipline. I don’t agree.’’

Magistrate Robert Williams said despite the woman’s remorse and steps to rectify her behaviour through parenting and stress management classes, the matter was a “very serious assault” on a “vulnerable child.” He sentenced the woman to an 18-month good behaviour bond and fined her $1200.