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Lawyer 'broke child's arm' at birthday party

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Vienna regional court. Photo: Johann Werfring/Wikimedia
15:25 CEST+02:00
A prominent Viennese lawyer has been found guilty of breaking a nine-year-old girl's arm at a children's birthday party.

He has been sentenced to six months conditional imprisonment for aggravated assault and fined €9,000. He plans to appeal the sentence.

The incident took place at a birthday party in late January at a sports club in Vienna’s posh Döbling district. The court heard that five children started fighting over who could play a slide made out of gym mats, whilst the adults were in the canteen.

The accused’s five-year-old daughter was allegedly bullied by the other children and when she told him about it he wanted to find out who was responsible.

He told the judge that he had been asking the nine-year-old girl what happened, and had taken hold of her left arm and lifted her up into the air. He said that because the child was “fidgeting around” she fell to the floor.

However, the judge didn’t believe his version of events, and said that a forensic report suggested that had lifted the child into the air and then thrown her a distance of around two metres. She suffered a complicated fracture to her upper arm, which the forensic expert said was the result of a “lively, energetic movement”.

The girl needed two operations and had to wear a shoulder sling for four weeks. She was also treated by a psychotherapist for anxiety and nightmares. She told the judge that he had thrown her in the air “with one hand” and had not checked to see if she was injured.

In addition the lawyer has been ordered to pay the child €8,600 in compensation and for medical bills.

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