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Domestic CP - November 2005
The Herald Sun, Melbourne, 17 November 2005
Courts warn parents
By Natalie Tkaczuk Sikora
TWO heavy-handed parents have pleaded guilty to hitting their children too hard
in fits of anger.
The court cases yesterday prompted a magistrate to warn parents about dishing out corporal punishment.
In one case, a long-serving navy seaman took off his belt and whipped his 10-year-old boy as he stood naked in a bath because he was upset by his behaviour.
The father of two was released on a good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $700 to the court fund for his assault, which left his son with welts and a bruised bottom.
He was also lectured by the magistrate for striking a child in a fit of rage and told it was "something out of the '40s, not current".
"I think you'll understand it's very concerning because everybody knows that feeling where you just hit at a child, but you just don't get a belt to do it," she said.
"You just cannot possibly do that . . . the shock and horror of a naked child being struck in the bath would be terrifying."
In the second case, a 26-year-old single mother of three was reprimanded for slapping her six-year-old daughter across the face for being cheeky.
The midnight assault occurred after the mother returned home from her nursing duties.
A court heard the woman struck the child after her former de facto, who was babysitting all three children while she worked, complained the six-year-old was naughty and refused to tidy her room.
The girl suffered a bruise under her right eye and was kept at home for two days to avoid being detected by authorities.
Both of the parents yesterday pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful assault in the separate cases.
The magistrate gave both parents good behaviour bonds without a conviction after their lawyers submitted that they were one-off cases and their jobs would be at stake if they were convicted.
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