A father from Douglas has pleaded guilty to wilfully assaulting his child.

The teenager was beaten with a belt, a shoe, and trousers, and forced to kneel and pray for hour-long periods until her knees were bruised.

A court order was made prohibiting anything from being published which may identify the child, as she is under 16, so we have not named the man.

He will be sentenced on September 26.

He had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge but on Tuesday changed his plea to guilty.

A charge against his wife, of common assault on the same child, which she had also denied, was dismissed after the crown offered no evidence in light of the husband’s guilty plea.

Prosecuting advocate Barry Swain told the court that the child had been moved to foster carers after being assaulted on a number of occasions.

The first incident of abuse was said to have taken place on December 12 when the child was repeatedly hit with a pair of trousers as the father told her: ‘What have I done to deserve such a horrible daughter?’

On December 13, her father hit her on the arm with his fist then repeatedly banged her head against a wall saying: ‘You do not disobey me.’

On December 15, he went into the child’s room and found her listening to music that he did not approve of, so he began hitting her with an open palm, then a slipper and his belt.

She was then made to kneel and pray for over an hour until her knees were bruised and she was begging to stop.

On December 16, the child was again made to kneel and pray for more than an hour and threatened that she would be home-schooled.

A number of controlling messages were also found as he threatened to take her out of her school.

The girl was due to attend a Duke of Edinburgh award session but her father stopped her.

She was also required to put her phone on a shelf as soon as she returned home.

She eventually reported the incidents after discussing them with her friend and her friend’s mother.

Another family member confirmed that the father would get angry and had hit his daughter.

He was arrested on December 21 and claimed that his daughter was a compulsive liar and had been hanging around with a bad crowd at school, saying that he had only been checking on her due to a health condition she had.

However, the father could not explain bruises on the child, to her eye, knuckles, shin, and thigh, which a medical examination concluded were not accidental.

The court heard that he has no previous convictions.

Defence advocate Stephen Wood said that, although there had been mention of the child’s head being repeatedly banged on the wall, there had been no evidence of injury from that.

‘Nevertheless, any allegation of this sort is a serious matter,’ said the advocate.

Mr Wood asked for a probation report to be prepared before sentencing.

High Bailiff Jayne Hughes ordered that the report consider all sentencing options, including custody.

Bail continues in the sum of £500 with conditions to live at his home address, not to contact the child, to contact probation and co-operate in the preparation of the report, and not to leave the island without court consent.