A woman who inflicted electric shocks on a toddler using a dog training collar during a catalogue of cruelty was jailed today.
Lanna Monaghan saw the device being used and told a pet owner: “If it works on a dog it will work on kids”.
A judge was shown photographs of injuries found on the little boy and asked if those on his neck were consistent with what appeared to be electrodes on the collar.
Lady Rae was told they were and said: “So it must have been applied on a number of occasions.”
Former soldier Monaghan (34) also kicked and bit the child, hit him so hard with a wooden spoon that it broke and subjected him to cold showers.
Monaghan admitted to police that she had a temper and could “zone out” and would go “out of control”.
The judge rejected a defence plea to allow the Army veteran 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.”
She 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, formerly of Fort William Road, Fort Augustus, admitted five charges of assaulting the boy, who does not live with her, at addresses in the Highlands in 2014 and last year.
She pled guilty to repeatedly fixing a dog collar with an electric shock device attached around his neck and inflicting shocks on him in July last year.
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 pled guilty to biting him on the ear and repeatedly striking him with a wooden spoon. The abuse ended when the boy was aged three after a concerned woman contacted the authorities.
The woman kept dogs and had an electronic training collar which Monaghan had seen being used.
Advocate depute Jane Farquharson said: “It works by a remote control which when activated delivers an electric shock through the collar that the dog feels on its neck.”
Monaghan later revealed to the woman in a phone call that she had shouted to the child: “Do you want me to go and get the f—ing buzzer?”
The woman realised that Monaghan must have bought a dog collar similar to the one she had seen at her house. The advocate depute said: “This was one that had been purchased by her in light of what she had seen at the house.”
Miss Farquharson said that when police saw the little boy they noted he had injuries to his face.
She said: “When taken to the hospital and medically examined a number of non-accidental injuries were noted. This included multiple bruising on the body and multiple red marks on the neck at a fixed distance from each other.”
A tearful Monaghan later told a psychiatric nurse that she got “fired up” and described having continuing “anger issues”. She revealed to a woman that she had made full admissions to the nurse but added she would need to get rid of the dog collar.
She later 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.”
During an interview Monaghan initially denied giving the toddler electric shocks with the dog training collar.
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.counsel Duncan McPhie asked for Monaghan’s bail to be continued while reports are prepared ahead of sentencing.
He said she was effectively a first offender and added: “The main reason for continuing bail is she is pregnant.”Rae remanded Monaghan in custody ahead of a further hearing at the High Court in Glasgow in July.