A STEPFATHER’S assault on a boy, 6, with a belt was discovered at the child’s school in Albury and reported to police.
It led to the man, 28, being charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and being put on a 30-month bond in Albury Local Court yesterday after being convicted.
His solicitor, Allison Bruce, said the man has expressed his remorse to the child, his de facto partner and the police, but magistrate Tony Murray said the aggravating factor was the boy’s age.
The boy, described by his mother as having challenging behaviour, suffered welts and bruises on his back from the waistline about 20 centimetres across his back.
Police were called to boy’s public school on June 17 and the child claimed when interviewed by officers that the welts and bruises were the result of an accident with his brother aged 5.
But it was later admitted by his mother that the stepfather was responsible for the injuries.
When arrested, the stepfather was interviewed, admitted what he had done and said his actions were unacceptable and out of character.
The assault was prompted by the boy letting a budgerigar, given as a present to one of his siblings, out of a cage.
Ms Bruce said the stepfather suffered from depression, mood swings and had admitted drug and alcohol abuse issues.
He had been working in a township some distance from Albury with early starts and returning home in the afternoon.
The man was suffering from a lack of sleep with a four to five-month-old baby in the household.
“He simply lost control to the point he is disgusted by what he did,” Ms Bruce said.
She said he had been in a defacto relationship for two years and there were five children in the household.
The stepfather is now receiving Centrelink benefits and has little disposable income.
“The force that was applied must have been significant,” Mr Murray said.
A domestic violence order for the child’s protection has been imposed by Mr Murray with the stepfather unable to assault, molest or harass the boy.