Gaurav Endlay arrives at the Launceston Magistrates Court. Picture: CHRIS KIDD
Gaurav Endlay arrives at the Launceston Magistrates Court. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

Man held baby as he hit wife

GUARAV Endlay appeared in court as an accused man just days after a coroner found him responsible for the death of his baby daughter.

But Gaurav Endlay, 39, avoided any further jail time or even a fine for the assault on his then-wife Rongrong "Angel" Lu, after his lawyer told the Launceston Magistrates Court that he had already "suffered" following Charlotte Lukendlay's death on February 25, 2016.

The court heard Endlay spent 18 months in custody after Charlotte died but charges relating to the death were later dropped.

Coroner Olivia McTaggart last week handed down her findings from an inquest into baby Charlotte's death, including that Endlay "caused Charlotte to stop breathing and proceed into cardiac arrest" by an unknown act one evening, about four days before she died.

Today, Endlay pleaded guilty to punching Ms Lu and causing her to fall and cut her eye, in mid-January.

The court heard Endlay was holding baby Charlotte, who would have been about five weeks old, when he struck his wife.

The family violence incident came to light when police investigating Charlotte's death noticed bruising and the cut on Ms Lu's face.

A prosecutor said Ms Lu initially said she fell out of bed but later admitted Endlay had struck her.

Endlay also denied the assault at first but in a second interview, told police he and his wife were pushing one another and that he caused her to fall.

The court heard Endlay and his father gave Ms Lu first aid "so she wouldn't go to hospital", and that Endlay's parents, who were visiting from India at the time, cleaned up the blood.

Endlay's lawyer Mark Doyle asked magistrate Simon Brown to simply impose a conviction for the assault because the fallout from Charlotte's death had made it "difficult [for him] to find employment".

"His reputation has been tarnished to the point that he feels it is irreparable," Mr Doyle said.

"He now works as a farm hand; the only work he's been able to obtain."

Endlay was supported in court by his new partner. He no longer has any contact with Ms Lu, who has left Tasmania.

Mr Brown told Endlay that "the days where [family violence] is seen as a lesser form of violence are long gone" but took into account his time in custody and lack of any similar prior convictions.

Endlay was ordered to pay court costs of $86.36.

Tasmania Police has said it would review the coronial findings.