A childcare worker accused of shaking a boy in anger over the treatment of plastic toys will fight a common assault charge.
Kyong Shik Choi, 46, entered the not guilty plea through his lawyer when he appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning.
Police say the South Korean man was supervising in the playground of a childcare centre in Gowrie when he spotted a five-year-old boy throwing plastic blocks over a fence on August 26.
“In response, the child used a mat to hit to the defendant on the side of his face,” police allege in court documents.
“The defendant continued to forcibly shake the child back and forth two more times.”
Mr Choi, also known as Kenny, is only alleged to have stopped after a woman who was walking past called out to him and went to report what she had seen to the centre manager.
Police claim Mr Choi gave the manager a signed, written statement “in which he made admissions to having pushed the child down over the fence after witnessing him throw blocks”.
“The defendant stated he believed his behaviour was inappropriate but told [the centre manager] that he was protecting himself,” police allege in court documents.
“The defendant explained the child spat at him and kicked him.”
Mr Choi was immediately stood down from his position, and has been on bail since he first appeared in court on September 1.
Prosecutor Isabella Coker said on Tuesday that in light of Mr Choi’s plea, the court would likely need to set aside a full day for a hearing.
Ms Coker indicated that there were currently seven prosecution witnesses slated to appear, though that number would probably reduce.
Magistrate James Lawton set the matter down for hearing on April 8 next year, and continued Mr Choi’s bail.