Warwick Magistrates Court where a man who assaulted a child was sentenced to eight months jail.
Warwick Magistrates Court where a man who assaulted a child was sentenced to eight months jail.

Child traumatised by assault

A LITTLE boy was thrown against a wall and his shirt ripped by the hands of a drunken and enraged man – a man with a lengthy history of violence who had been reported to Child Safety about five months before the incident.

The man was later sentenced to 24 months' jail to serve a minimum of eight months, but the four-year-old boy now asks daily if the man who attacked him is still in jail and for his father to lock the doors at night.

The boy also screams during his sleep as he relives the terrifying scene which took place in Warwick on the night of October 24.

The boy's father – who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the child – said he was concerned about his ex-partner's new boyfriend when the child visited him with bruises. (All names associated with the child victim must be withheld in accordance with the Child Protection Act.)

“When he became old enough to speak, to piece together sentences, he would say (the man) ‘hurts me, punches me, dunks me under water, hurts and yells at mummy',” the father said.

“I share custody with his mother, 47 per cent to her 53 per cent.

“It was when (the man) was sentenced to jail for assault I began to call ChildSafety and raise my concerns. The first call I made was in May.

“He was released on parole in early October and assaulted my son 22 days after his release.”

In June the 40-year-old was sentenced in the Warwick Magistrates Court to 12 months' jail after being convicted of serious assault obstructing police in March. He was released on parole on October 2.

About a month after his release from jail for seriously assaulting a Killarney police officer, the offender found himself again sitting in the Warwick Magistrates dock on November 9, where he pleaded guilty to seven charges of violence against his partner, his one-year-old daughter, the four-year-old boy and police. The charges included assault occasioning bodily harm, common assault and serious assault on the night of October 24.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Steve de Lissa told the court the man returned home after a drinking session to a late-night feed but went into the bedroom where his de facto of three years slept with their baby and the four-year-old boy.

“He's grabbed her throat, punched her in the head, which caused pain, bruising and her lips bled,” the prosecutor said.

“He's punched the (four-year-old) child, ripped off his shirt and threw him against the wall.”

The court heard the man was highly aggressive when police arrived and “swung a skillet” at officers.

“Police took out their tasers and capsicum spray and capsicum spray was deployed,” the prosecutor said.

“There was a struggle and police used ‘closed hand' tactics to subdue him.

“The two children were terrified and the little boy who was thrown against the wall could not stop crying.”

The court heard the man had a history of violence against police and in a domestic situation. His defence counsel said he had “alcohol issues, anger-management issues and some relationship issues.

“His partner is supportive of him in court and wants to continue a relationship, but once alcohol comes into theequation he becomes a different person,” the defence said.

The boy's father sat disbelieving in the courtroom as he heard the facts of the case, as he had contacted Child Services four times about his son's welfare.

“This man has no respect for people, which includes police officers and women,” the father said.

“Is that what it takes – a baby to be hurt for people to take notice?”

A Department of Communities Child Services spokeswoman said she could not comment about whether the boy was visited before the assault or if it investigated any complaints received.

“The Child Protection Act prohibits the Department of Communities confirming its involvement or otherwise with any child or family or commenting on a case or investigation,” she said.

The department also failed to answer questions about monitoring the welfare of children living with people convicted of violence.

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