A dad who threw his one-year-old daughter off a roof in a ‘shocking’ protest has been spared jail.
The 38-year-old father was standing off with police in a protest against the demolishment of an illegal shack settlement in Joe Slovo township, Kwadwesi, South Africa at the time of the incident.
Fortunately, the baby girl survived after a police officer caught her in mid-air and was eventually returned to her mother, overseen by social services.
The unidentified man was initially charged with attempted murder, but was spared jail yesterday (June 13) after pleading guilty to child abuse, MailOnline reports.
After the state dropped initial charges, the 38-year-old was handed a sentence of one year in jail, suspended for five years, at New Brighton Magistrate’s Court. He was also fined 5,000 rand (£266.56).
During the protest in April last year, the South African Police Service had been sent in to ensure the safety of the demolition team as around 150 protesters began rioting, throwing bricks and blocking roads with burning tyres.
As the situation continued to spiral out of control, the man took his daughter on top of their home before dangling her by her leg and waving her around to the crowd below.
As locals reportedly egged the dad on, chanting ‘throw, throw, throw,’ a police officer attempted to coax him down from the roof to no avail.
The police officer rushed forward to grab the father, but it was too late. The man threw the baby off the roof, who luckily did not sustain any injuries in the harrowing incident.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge told local media at the time:
At about 10.40am a 38-year-old man climbed onto the roof of one of the structures and held a one-year-old girl in his hands. This was done to force the team not to demolish the structure.
Due to the dangerous threat to the safety of the child police set out a plan to rescue the little girl and arrest the male and one of our officers successfully caught the girl as she was flung.
The 38-year-old father has been charged with the attempted murder of his daughter and the case is being handled by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit.
Immediately after throwing his child from the roof, the father was pinned to the ground, arrested, and charged with attempted murder.
Following the incident, the demolition team moved in and destroyed 90 structures that had been built illegally on unowned land.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).