A father-of-eight has been charged with assault and warned ‘times have changed’ after ‘disciplining’ his six-year-old with a leather belt.
A father-of-eight has been charged with assault and warned ‘times have changed’ after ‘disciplining’ his six-year-old with a leather belt.

Father charged for injuring son with belt

A Brisbane father-of-eight was reprimanded at the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Thursday for physically disciplining his six-year-old son with a leather belt, leaving the boy with welts, red marks and bruising.

"Times have changed," Magistrate Trevor Morgan told the 48-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

"I am just short of 70 years old and I can remember, with a fair degree of horror, the sorts of beatings my parents were responsible for when I was a child.

"It was common back then that children were the subject of corporal punishment as a primary means of discipline, but … unless you're living under a rock you must … realise it is no longer appropriate."

The court heard the man "took it a step too far" when on December 12 he noticed the young child had drawn on the bedroom carpet of their home.

The police prosecutor said the father used his work belt to strike the child several times, leaving red marks and bruising to the boy's right lower leg, near his knee.

In an effort to escape the assault, the boy tried to dodge his father by jumping out of the way and then, when that failed, ran from the house, out the front gate and into the street.

The Pine Rivers Magistrate told the father he must have been living under a rock not to realise his methods of punishment were well and truly outdated.
The Pine Rivers Magistrate told the father he must have been living under a rock not to realise his methods of punishment were well and truly outdated.

He was found at a traffic intersection by a member of the public and explained how he'd fled "a hiding from his dad".

The father came to collect the boy in his car and the person called the police, who later interviewed the family and took photos of the boy's injuries.

The man made full admissions to assaulting his child and told police he'd done so on previous occasions as well.

The boy said he got in trouble because his "dad counted to five" and his "mum was standing there doing nothing".

"It made me feel scared," he said, according to the prosecutor.

The boy was removed from the home and placed with relatives.

The court heard that the man had "successfully raised" eight children aged between 25 years and 20 months old and was "devastated" by how the events had played out.

He pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm and was placed on a $500 good behaviour bond for two years.

No conviction was recorded.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.  

Originally published as Brisbane father charged for injuring son with belt


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