Three-year-old attacked after mum left him tethered to railings
PUBLISHED: 13:07 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:14 08 November 2019
Copyright Archant Norfolk 2014
A three-year-old boy was beaten and "manhandled" while tethered to a set of railings by a harness in Wymondham.
The child, now in care after an "unhappy life" of previous abuse, had been tied to a handrail when neighbours heard screaming, Norwich Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.
They recorded the incident on a mobile phone, and saw a man come to the child and strike him three times before lifting him off the ground by the harness on June 30.
The 29-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the child, admitted common assault.
Mark Jackson, prosecuting, said it was a "particularly unpleasant" case.
"The injured party was three years old at the time and was probably a high maintenance young boy. He had been a victim of abuse from a previous partner. The defendant is no longer with his mother and the boy is now in care.
"On the day a neighbour heard screaming and they attributed it to the young [victim]. They observed him on a harness used for a toddler to walk. The sinister aspect is that was tied to a handrail."
He said there was no evidence the defendant was responsible for tying the child to the rail. Neighbours saw a man crouch over the child and strike him three times, he added, saying they appeared to be slaps.
"There is then a gap and we then see on the footage a manhandling of the boy," said Mr Jackson. "It appears the back of the harness is being used to pull him up, with his legs dangling in the air."
In interview the man claimed he had made just one contact with the child and it had been a "light touch".
Chris Brown, mitigating, said: "You are hearing about the unhappy life of an unhappy child who is now in care. He is not in care as a result of this matter. It occurred a considerable time after this couple separated. His unhappy life began long before the involvement of this defendant."
He said the boy's mother had "apparently tethered the young child and said she would be back shortly".
"She didn't come back and the boy started to become distressed. As a substitute parent for no more than a matter of weeks he was dealing with a highly distressed child, not coping with the situation. He lost his temper."
The 29-year-old was given 150 hours of unpaid work and made to pay £350 court costs and a £90 victim surcharge.