Dad busted for ‘flogging’ child
A MAN who assaulted his teenage stepson with a plastic pipe has faced court.
The 29-year-old man pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm when he appeared in the Charters Towers Magistrates Court.
The court heard the father of six, who cannot be named for legal reasons, became enraged when his stepson continued to use an iPad after being forbidden to do so. The man struck the child with a piece of plastic pipe some three or four times on the legs and buttocks, causing bruising.
Police were alerted to the incident in January and found the instrument after securing a search warrant.
The defence said the man, who is the sole provider for his family, was annoyed and angry due to the continued misuse of their personal electronic devices and was trying to discipline the children.
The man was said to be cognisant of the excessive nature of his behaviour and that there had been no further such incidents in the family home.
The defence made it clear that should the man be convicted he would likely lose his job.
Magistrate Ross Mack discussed the best suitable sentencing and found it challenging, as fining the man would impact his family.
Probation was considered the most suitable but Mr Mack lamented Charters Towers' "limited resources" to support probation programs.
"If he doesn't get better, there will be another incident,' Mr Mack said.
"Even if it hasn't happened already, child protection will be involved sooner rather than later."
It was impressed upon the man that the world had moved on and that although physical punishment may not have been uncommon in the past it was never effective.
Magistrate Mack gave the man 12 months' probation with no conviction recorded.