He punished his stepson by hitting him with a belt, but it’s the stepdad who now has to behave after being sentenced for assault with a weapon.
The stepfather received a one-year conditional discharge in Brandon court this week, which requires him to keep the peace and take counselling as directed.
"It’s been a difficult lesson for you," Judge John Combs told the man in Brandon court.
"We all know parenting can be a difficult exercise … but obviously resorting to that kind of corporal punishment is just not acceptable."
The 46-year-old stepdad can’t be named because it would identify the young victim.
The blows with the belt were delivered on Feb. 12.
Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said the nine-year-old victim was arguing with his younger brother and the siblings were spitting at and hitting each other.
The younger brother told his parents and the stepfather struck the older boy on his back with the belt two or three times.
The victim reported the assault to Child and Family Services four days later.
Lonstrup told court that this was a case of discipline gone too far.
The victim has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and can be tough to manage, Lonstrup said. The accused resorted to the belt in "desperation" and the victim later said he felt he deserved to be hit with the belt because he’d been bad.
Defence lawyer Bob Harrison said the victim was out of control. He’d been spitting at his younger brother and was told to stop three to four times.
It was the boy’s mother who asked her spouse to hit the boy with the belt, Harrison said.
Harrison said the parents had sought advice about parenting a child with ADHD, but didn’t get much help from the boy’s school or public health.
That changed when CFS became involved and the parents are now receiving guidance on how to raise a child with ADHD, Harrison said.
The child was briefly apprehended by CFS following the assault and was upset that he couldn’t see his stepdad, Harrison added, but the boy has since returned home.
"Just an unfortunate situation all around," Harrison commented.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 1, 2012