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Dad jailed for bashing ill toddler

A BABY-faced father bashed his two-year-old son in a “rage blackout” after the ill toddler vomited on his dad. The 20-year-old father cannot remember anything after the first punch he threw into the child's stomach.

Photos of the little boy's injuries, taken as he battled for his life in the Royal Children's Hospital, show bruises covering his tiny body.

Doctors alerted police that the injuries indicated the boy had been punched several times, including to the scrotum, and had left the tot with a laceration on his head and a broken wrist and rib.

Yesterday the father, who cannot be named, was sent to jail for four months after he pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to assault occasioning bodily harm.

SENIOR Sergeant Tony Hurley said the father lied when police first interviewed him at Nambour General Hospital about his son's injuries.

He said the boy fell down 13 concrete stairs at his Nambour home.

The toddler was airlifted for specialist treatment in a Brisbane hospital, where a leading paediatrician said the injuries were not all consistent with the alleged fall.

It was not until police served a warrant on the dad, allowing them to get information from his mobile phone, that he told them he wanted more time “to get his thoughts in order”.

At a police station he admitted he punched the boy in an “episode of rage”.

He and the child had both been sick. The father fell asleep on the couch as his son sat on the floor eating cereal.

The man was woken when the child spilled cereal on him.

It angered the dad, who only grew more furious when he stubbed his toe cleaning up the mess.

He fell asleep again but was awoken when the child accidentally vomited on him, perhaps as he tried to get assistance from his dad.

The father punched the child in the stomach and then blacked out in a fit of rage, admitting he would have hit his son more than once.

The boy later did fall down stairs at the house, after which his father called an ambulance.

The child has fully recovered. Defence solicitor Michael Robinson said it was “a terrible situation for the two-year-old-child ... (and) the child's father, who loves his son.”

The dad “went from a loving, caring son to a disappointed, angry young man” after an earlier girlfriend left him with his first child, Mr Robinson said. After his second child was born, the man had tried to be a responsible father.

Snr Sgt Hurley asked for a prison sentence to reflect the seriousness of an attack on a defenceless child.

Magistrate Cliff Taylor said: “This type of assault on a defenceless child is not tolerated by the community or by the courts.”

He sentenced the father to 12 months in jail, suspended after he serves four months.

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