A FATHER of four, who punched his four-year-old son in the head, then shoved him “flying” through a screen door because the child was crying, has been jailed for two years.
The incident occurred while the man and his family were staying with friends at Tweed Heads South on December 21, 2008.
The angry Wardell man, 34, who has a history of violence against his family, must serve 18 months of the sentence after pleading guilty in Lismore Local Court yesterday to charges of assault, taking action that results in the physical injury of a child, and breach of an AVO.
The man, who cannot be named, blamed the violent acts on the child's crying and his own drug use and “boredom”.
The incident happened when the father was left for a short time to look after his little boy.
The mother told police that as she pulled up in the car outside the house she saw her son “come flying out the front-door screen door” like he had been pushed with force; her husband was right behind him.
“He's pissing me off; he's crying,” the father said.
“The baby threw the Wii remote (at the boy).”
“No, you punched me dad, in the eye,” the son said.
“He was crying. I should have blackened the other eye, and yours,” the man said to his wife.
The father appeared in custody before magistrate Robyn Denes, with his defence lawyer arguing he had “only slapped” his son.
“He acted inappropriately,” the lawyer said.
“He was surprised by the consequences.”
Magistrate Denes said the man had been on a good behaviour bond for a previous offence of assault causing harm, and this was his ninth offence for violence.
“The only matters on his record are for assault,” she said.
“One only has to look at his size and clearly any slap of a four-year-old is not on, and then have the child go flying through the screen door.
“It was more than a slap.
“This is an assault on a child that cannot defend himself, a vulnerable child.
“To this community, whatever colour, it's not on.”
Ms Denes said the dad breached his apprehended violence order on January 26 when police were called to the family home at Wardell only to find him riding a bicycle outside the house yelling abuse at his wife -'a nice way to behave in front of your children,' the magistrate scolded him.
“I think he now understands he has some issues that need to be dealt with,” she said.
“He says he has ongoing marijuana use and boredom, but that smacks of excuses.
“Boredom does not mean you can bash a four-year-old child. There are no excuses.”
Ms Denes sentenced him to two years jail with a non-parole period of 18 months, making the man eligible for release on July 26, 2010.