A STEPDAD taped an eight-year-old child to a chair for misbehaving during a catalogue of abuse.
The dad also kicked the youngster under a table, slapped him hard on the back leaving a red hand print and nipped him on his arm causing bruising.
The 28-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the boy, was arrested and admitted assault but was spared immediate jail so he could learn some better parenting skills.
A judge slammed his behaviour which took place in Hartlepool, saying: “You should have been looking after him, not harming him.”
Police investigated the stepdad after the youngster showed up at a club with bruising on one of his arms.
They were told about a series of other worrying incidents witnessed by the boy’s mother when the stepdad had lashed out towards the boy at home.
Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said: “It began by kicking the boy under the dining table.
“The defendant would deny any wrongdoing and say she should tell the boy off.”
The mum arrived home one day to find him taping the youngster to a chair, Miss Masters added.
“Initially the boy and defendant were both laughing however he became distressed and shouted for the defendant to stop.”
Another time the man slapped the boy hard on his back when he crouched down to tidy up some toys that were on the living room floor.
Miss Masters added: “He screamed in pain and began crying for quite a long time.
“It caused a bright red handprint on his back.”
A doctor who examined him after the bruising was discovered on his right arm also discovered another bruise on his left forearm and on his knee.
The victim became very withdrawn as a result of his stepdad’s treatment.
The court was told the man’s behaviour towards the boy changed after the birth of his own child.
Paul Cleasby, mitigating at Teesside Crown Court, said he couldn’t complain if he was locked up.
But he said he would benefit from help from probation workers and added he was classed as a low risk of re-offending.
Mr Cleasby said: “Work needs to be done to address the way he behaved and give him any possibility of improving his understanding and decision making skills.”
The man admitted actual bodily harm relating to the nipping and was given six months prison suspended for 18 months with probation supervision.
He must also do 150 hours community work.
Judge Peter Armstrong said: “This has to be regarded as a serious offence because it involves an eight-year-old boy.
“You were in a position of trust.
“You should have been looking after him, not harming him.”