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Girl’s father sentenced to 18 months probation, community service after guilty plea on cruelty charge 
A 14-month-old girl suffered seizures after swallowing some of her father’s MDMA supply, a Belfast court has heard. 
Prosecutors said the toddler was exposed to a “significant” quantity of the drug during the incident in west Belfast. 
Her father (25) was given 18 months probation after pleading guilty to causing or procuring cruelty to a child. The defendant, who cannot be named to protect his daughter’s identity, must also complete 100 hours community service. 
The child was admitted to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Childen on January 30th last due to prolonged seizures. Medical checks confirmed she had ingested an amount of MDMA, the city’s Magistrates Court was told. 
Neither of the girl’s parents were able to provide an explanation at the time as to what had happened, with both denying drug use, the court heard. 
However, when the defendant was interviewed again, he admitted having taken MDMA the previous Saturday night but said he had no idea how his daughter then got hold of the drug. 
The prosecutor said the child made a full recovery within 48 hours and that there was “no suggestion of any long-term effects”. 
District Judge Mark McGarrity questioned why the case was not being dealt with in the Crown Court. He explained that custody options available to him following the guilty plea would not “meet the justice of what happened”. 
“This is a matter of considerable gravity,” the judge said as he sentenced the man. 
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