Stepfather woke up boy, 4, to bash him

A MAN who violently assaulted his second wife's son, 4, hitting, kicking and punching the boy in the head, has been given immediate parole after spending six months in custody.

"The act of violence against a child is reprehensible,'' Brisbane Magistrate Tina Previtera said, sentencing the man to two years' jail, but taking into account time already served behind bars.

The South Korean-born man married his second wife within two months of his first wife dying, leaving him with two young daughters to raise, Brisbane Magistrates Court heard.

The man hit his vulnerable young stepson numerous times with a pole, also using a wooden rope from a toy and a remote-control device as assault weapons.

He used a flyswatter and a coat hanger to hit the soles of his feet several times, he punched the child in the face and woke him up to hit him on the head and kick him.

The man yesterday pleaded guilty to 10 counts of common assault, three of assault causing bodily harm and three of assault causing bodily harm while armed.

Crown prosecutor Jacqueline Ball said the man once confronted the four-year-old for being rude, took him to a separate room and repeatedly punched him in the head.

When his wife told him to stop and put her arms around her son to protect him, her husband slapped her on her face, Ms Ball said.

Later, when his wife and stepson were asleep, the man went into the boy's room and again assaulted him, and then assaulted his wife.

A week later the man repeatedly hit the boy in the head for not putting away his toys, and later that day punched the child through a car window.

Ms Ball said it was unlawful, excessive and unreasonable retribution for the boy's perceived behaviour.

Defence counsel Alicia Thomas said the man initially reacted out of a sense of discipline or out of grief over the loss of his first wife, and then out of frustration and anger.

The man's second wife emotionally read a victim statement in Korean.

Magistrate Tina Previtera said the offences involved physical and psychological violence to two vulnerable people who had only been in Australia for a short time.

She said the effect of violence to a four-year-old's brain was unknown, but he already had significant difficulties.

"That he was separated from his mother during periods of violence will also no doubt cause him and has caused him, significant trauma,'' Ms Previtera said.

She ordered the man, who has spent 181 days in custody, to be released on parole until February 12, 2021.

It meant he has served less than a third of the head sentence.

Ms Previtera said the man needed a significant period under supervision to address several issues, which he could not get in jail.


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