A young boy escaped serious, long-term physical injury after his uncle tied him from his neck to a clothesline to ‘teach him a lesson’. File pictureSource:Supplied
A South Australian man wanted to “teach his nephew a lesson” about caring for his pet dog by tying a dog leash around the five-year-old’s neck and hanging him from a clothesline.
The 45-year-old man – whose identity remains suppressed to protect the victim – was found guilty of causing harm with intent to cause harm over the terrifying incident that happened at his home on January 9, 2019.
The Adelaide District Court heard the uncle was granted custody of the boy when he was six weeks old after the boy's mother and father were deemed unfit to care for him.
During sentencing remarks, Judge Michael Boylan said the man “acted as the boy's father” and was called ”dad” by the child.
The victim, who was given a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy prior to the incident, was playing with his pet in the backyard when the man noticed the dog looked like it entangled in its leash and was choking.
The judge told the court the man decided the “best way” to discipline the boy was to put the dog's leash around his neck and hang him from the clothesline.
“When you did that, you intended to cause him some pain by way of teaching him a lesson,” Judge Boylan said during the sentencing on Tuesday.
“You wanted to show him how the dog would have felt.”
A 45-year-old man from Adelaide had avoided jail after he tied his five-year-old nephew’s neck with a dog leash and hung him from a clothesline. File pictureSource:News Regional Media
The court heard the man “came to his senses” when he saw the boy’s eyes begin to bulge and released him.
“He would have been terrified.
“You should not have disciplined him the way you did. You went well beyond what a parent’s entitled to do to chastise a child.”
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While the boy had some bruising around his neck after the incident, he did not sustain any long-term physical harm.
Judge Boylan referred to a psychological report which stated the man would have failed a basic test that determined his capability to act as a parent, and if the man was assessed prior to being granted custody, he would not have been allowed to care for the boy.
“I accept you have always loved (the boy) and are very upset by being separated from him … and you tried your best to be a good parent to him.
“I think there is very little danger of you ever hurting him again or any other child.”
Judge Boylan sentenced the man to 12 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six months but said there were “good grounds” to suspend it for a 12-month good behaviour bond.
He said the caregiver, who had “problems” with alcohol, drugs and gambling, also had an intellectual disability.
The judge noted the man had no prior criminal history related to violence and had not breached a good behaviour bond.Internet Explorer Channel Network