A childminder, who pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting an 18-month-old child in her care, is to avoid conviction.

The case is to be struck out on payment of €1,000 to the court poor box.

The woman has already paid €6,000 in compensation, as ordered by the court.

However, sources close to the child’s parents say it was never about money and they are extremely disappointed with the outcome.

They had pursued the matter in the first place for the safety of theirs and other children.

The parents were only informed of the outcome on Monday - a week after the order for the case to be struck out was handed down.

It was extremely difficult for the child’s mother to give a statement in the first place as there was friendship and other ties involved.

She was encouraged to do so by gardaí, who pointed out that if this were a more formal childminding arrangement such as a crèche in which her child was injured, she would have no hesitation. 

Last September the District Court in Killarney was told how a postwoman doing her rounds near Killarney heard "terrible screams" and the childminder seemed to be "biting" the face of the child she held pinned against a wall. 

The postwoman banged on the door and the childminder answered it with the child in her arms. She told the postwoman that she could not get the child to stop crying.

The postwoman rang the child’s mother, who left work and took the child to the doctor.

Medical reports handed into court found that the child’s face was bruised but there were no facial bite marks. The court heard that the bruising healed in two to three weeks.

The court also heard that this was a once-off incident and the childminder had no previous convictions.

The woman who had been minding the child for over a year pleaded guilty to willfully assaulting a child in her care in a manner likely to cause injury to the child’s health or seriously affect its well being.

Padraig O’Connell, solicitor for the childminder, said the woman had children of her own and there were no issues with her care of them.

He said there had been total co-operation, no previous conviction and "significant remorse".

Mr O'Connell also said that on this occasion, the child’s crying had got inside the childminder’s head. The woman has been getting professional counselling.

Judge O’Connor ordered €5,000 be lodged in court for the benefit of the child, to be invested until it reached 18 years of age, saying he was treating the matter on the same principle as if the child was injured in a road traffic accident. 

A further €1,000 is to be paid into court for the benefit of the mother of the child, by order of the judge.