Man who smacked tot claimed boy fell down stairs

The Oxford Times: . .

A MAN who admitted smacking a 20-month-old boy has been sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work.

The 22-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – admitted a charge of cruelty to a boy on January 30.

But he denied causing bruising to the face and arms of the boy, who was his ex-partner’s child, saying the tot had fallen down stairs.

A special earlier hearing at Oxford Crown Court was unable to determine the facts of those injuries.

Berenice Mulvanny, prosecuting, said the boy was left alone with the defendant, who contacted his mother to say he had fallen down the stairs.

The boy was taken to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital and the defendant told police he smacked him three times on the bottom.

He said this was “poor judgement” and that he was “extremely upset” and took him to his room but accidentally left a stairgate open.

Adrian Amer, defending, said: “It was a one-off. We are talking about three smacks to the bottom of the child which, of course, caused the young child injuries.”

He has expressed remorse, he said.

Recorder Clive Broe accepted it was an “isolated incident” but the defendant was “struggling to grasp the seriousness” of his actions.

He made a two year restraining order in relation to his ex-partner and ordered that he pay £200 costs and a £60 victims’ surcharge.

An order banning any reporting that could identify the child was upheld by the judge, despite a challenge by the Oxford Mail.

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