Woman slaps toddler ‘having a meltdown’ on street as horrified passersby watch

A 32-year-old woman who attacked a child in the street claimed she had to act the way she did because the toddler was “having a meltdown.”

Rebecca Shipman hauled the child off the ground by his arm and slapped him several times on the body in front of shocked onlookers.

One of the passers-by was so horrified by Shipman’s conduct that she filmed her and reported the matter to the police.

Shipman, Potterhill, Perth, admitted assaulting a 21-month-old boy in Main Street, Perth, on 12 March 2021. She admitted holding him off the ground by his arm and repeatedly slapping him on the body.

Fiscal depute Stuart Hamilton told Perth Sheriff Court: “The child was held off the ground by his arm. She slapped him repeatedly on the body.

“This was overseen by witnesses and one approached and told the accused that they had seen her hit the child. The accused said she didn’t.

“They took a photograph of the accused. When she was seen by police, she said: ‘He was having a meltdown and I had to get him across the road somehow.'”

Solicitor John McLaughlin, defending, said: “This will impact on her life dramatically in future. Her explanation is that it was a moment of stress and difficulty.”

Sheriff Nigel Cooke placed her on a community payback order and under social work supervision for 18 months.