Highlands & Islands

Fort Augustus woman used electric dog collar on toddler

Dog wearing electric collar Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Lanna Monaghan had seen an electric collar on a dog

A woman who gave a young boy electric shocks using a dog training collar has been told she faces jail.

Former soldier Lanna Monaghan also subjected the child to cold showers, bit and kicked him - and hit him so hard with a wooden spoon that it broke.

Monaghan, formerly of Fort Augustus, told police she had a temper and could "zone out" and be "out of control".

The 34-year-old was remanded in custody at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The court heard that Monaghan had seen the electric training collar being used on a dog and told the pet owner: "If it works on a dog it will work on kids."

Judge Lady Rae was shown photographs of injuries found on the boy and asked if those on his neck were consistent with what appeared to be electrodes on the collar.

She was told they were and said: "So it must have been applied on a number of occasions."

The abuse ended when the boy was aged three after a concerned woman contacted the authorities.

Monaghan admitted five charges of assaulting the boy, who does not live with her, at addresses in the Highlands in 2014 and last year.

She admitted repeatedly fixing a dog collar with an electric shock device attached around his neck and inflicting shocks on him in July last year.

Cold showers

The private hire car employee also admitted forcibly placing him in a shower and turning it on and off while kicking the boy on the body.

Monaghan, who served in the Army for nine years, also admitted biting him on the ear and repeatedly striking him with a wooden spoon.

She had initially denied to the authorities to giving the toddler electric shocks with the dog training collar, the court heard.

But she later claimed that she had picked up the device during a visit to another woman's home.

She gave three shocks in quick succession to the boy's neck because he had refused to swallow a mouthful of food.

Monaghan told police: "I am truly sorry for what happened, I can't believe it happened."

She claimed the child "pushes my buttons, spitting on me, peeing on the floor and being sick on the floor".

She admitted that at times she would be crouched down to the child's eye level, shouting and swearing aggressively at him when he wet himself and cried.

The prosecutor said: "She did not appear to recognise the possibility that the child was reacting involuntarily and through fear."

The judge rejected a defence plea to allow Monaghan to remain on bail ahead of sentencing because she is pregnant.

Lady Rae told a weeping Monaghan: "This is an appalling catalogue of charges of physical cruelty, I think that is the only way to describe it, to a toddler over 15 months."

The judge told her that she had to call for a background report because she had never served a prison sentence before, but added: "Realistically it would be very difficult to avoid custody in a case such as this. This was a toddler, a defenceless child."

Monaghan will be sentenced at a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow in July.

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