Pop labelled ‘despicable’ for beating vulnerable grandson
A grandfather has been rebuked in court for trying to excuse why he violently beat and bruised his nine-year-old grandson.
Prosecutor Sergeant Marcus Hahn said the child was taken to his paternal grandfather's house in a town south of Mackay on October 14 this year, after his father "got sick of him".
"(The child) didn't want to be at pop's so he was sitting in the tyre out the front," Sgt Hahn said.
"Nan was in the yard as well.
"Pop came to the door and told him he had to the count of three to come into the house.
"He was still angry and didn't listen to Pop who then came out and put a belt around the victim's chest.
"The belt fell off.
"Pop grabbed (the child) by the back collar of his school shirt … and pulled it against his throat so he couldn't breathe."
Sgt Hahn said the grandfather then dragged the choking boy across the yard and into the house.
"The victim was crying and they'd barely made it inside when pop slammed him a couple of times around the head," he said.
"Then when they were fully inside, Pop pushed him into the couch and slapped him a couple of times again and then punched him in the stomach."
Sgt Hahn said the grandfather then forced his grandson to sit on the couch with him and watch two movies before he let him go to the toilet and head outside.
"He had bruises around his eyes and behind his ears," Sgt Hahn said.
"He stated Pop was saying things like 'this is how I got treated'."
Defence solicitor Ken Seaniger said his client, who cannot be named for legal reasons, realised he should have treated the situation "a little differently" but at the time was trying to discipline his grandson who "had a number of behavioural problems".
"(The child) generally wasn't allowed at the grandparent's house because of his behaviour," he said.
Mr Seaniger said the child was taken to his grandparents's home by his two elder brothers after he began damaging vehicles at his father's house with pieces of wood.
"The boy gets out of the car … and then puts on another big turn … and this child is just going berserk," Mr Seaniger said.
"So (the grandfather) took the step to grab hold of the child and give him a few slaps."
The court also heard the 68-year-old attempted to calm down his grandson by hosing him on the face.
But Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan interrupted the defence to say it was an "absolutely despicable" beating without justification.
"He said that he didn't want to go to your place on that day because he was worried that something bad would happen," Mr Seaniger said.
"I accept that this child has some difficulties but he is a vulnerable child.
"He's not welcome at his father's home because his stepmother says he's not allowed to be there.
"That's a very sad situation for a nine-year-old boy that's come into your house where he should expect safety and instead he was met with significant violence."
Ms Hartigan said although the grandfather pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm, the seriousness of the offence had to be met with a jail sentence to send a message the behaviour was unacceptable.
She sentenced him to nine months jail with immediate parole and also strongly recommended he do a parenting course while on parole.
A conviction was recorded.