A father from Donegal has been handed a four-year jail sentence after he abandoned his 2-year-old daughter in a fit of jealousy over his ex-girlfriend's social activities.
The father, who cannot be named in order to protect his daughter's identity, left her on a roadside adjacent to the entrance of a construction site in the early hours of a morning in August 2020.
The baby, who was rescued by two men returning home from a night out in Letterkenny at 5 am, was found with no shoes on and a milk bottle in her hand. After knocking on several neighbours' front doors in a futile attempt to locate her parents, the two men contacted Gardaí who took care of the toddler.
The Irish Examiner reports that later that day a woman phoned Letterkenny Garda Station revealing the lost child was her daughter and that she had been in the care of her father when she went missing.
Letterkenny District Court heard the man had become jealous over his ex-partner's social activities and he had called her at least 30 times during which he threatened to abandon their child.
It was stated in court that the father took a photo of his daughter at the entrance to the construction site before forwarding the image to her mother.
The court also heard that when arrested by Gardaí the defendant referred to the incident as a "silly thing."
The father has not seen his daughter since the ordeal.
On handing down a sentence, Judge John Aylmer factored in the father's early plea and cooperation in reducing his sentence from five to four years.
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