A WOMAN has been found guilty of assaulting a four-year-old girl after a quick-thinking passerby flagged down a police car.
Sharon Bailey, of Morland Road, Addiscombe, was given a conditional discharge after being convicted at Croydon Magistrates' Court on Friday.
Witness Adam Benoit told the court he had heard the child crying as the pair walked down the road in Clapham on the evening of July 22 last year.
He said he saw Bailey, who knows the child's mother, slapping the tot on the back as they walked.
He claimed at one point he saw her twisting the little girl's hand so hard that she was lifted off the ground.
"I thought maybe she had kidnapped her," he added
Mr Benoit flagged down a passing police car and officers immediately arrested the woman.
Bailey, 39, denied slapping the child but said she was pushing her along as they hurried to catch the bus following a visit to her boyfriend's house.
She told the court: "I was not slapping and I could never slap her. I was hurrying her because of the time.
"She was not crying in pain; she was crying because she never wanted to leave the household with the cat.
"I was pushing her – you know when you are walking and the child does not want to go. I was pushing her; I was not slapping her."
The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, didn't sustain any obvious injuries and a medical didn't take place because her mother could not be reached to grant consent.
But judge Robert Hunter said Mr Benoit was an "independent and credible witness" and the case proven.
He told Bailey: "Children are sometimes recalcitrant and it may have been [she] was being recalcitrant about leaving and may even be that she needed some forceful persuading, but in my view you overstepped the mark."