A man faced court on four contravene domestic violence order charges, including spanking his son at a park. File Photo.
A man faced court on four contravene domestic violence order charges, including spanking his son at a park. File Photo.

Spanking ‘sociopathic’ child lands youth worker before court

After spanking his child at a South Burnett park, a juvenile described as exhibiting "sociopathic behaviours'', a man was hit with breaching a domestic violence order, a court heard.

Standing before Kingaroy Magistrates Court, the defendant pleaded guilty to four charges of contravening a domestic violence order between August 2 and September 9, 2020.

The defendant, 41, was represented by Jay Rose of Rosegold Legal, who said the offences occurred in the context of a relationship breakdown.

"He hasn't been able to see his children very often since the relationship broke down," Ms Rose said.

"He has four children and two of those children are with the aggrieved. Since they separated in August, he's had three visits with his children in a contact centre.

"He did not cope well with the breakdown of the relationship."

In relation to the first offence, Ms Rose said the defendant claims to have been invited to the aggrieved home, however no specific time for his arrival was given.

"He was across the road having dinner and he sent a text message asking if it was convenient to pop over then. She said 'not now, later' and he showed up anyway," she said.

The second incidence occurred following an argument between the defendant and one of his children.

"From what I understand of the difficulties he's had in the relationship with the aggrieved have been only what I could describe as sociopathic behaviours of (the child), the concern that my clients had for the safety of the other children around (the child), and the way (the child) speaks to my client, including calling him uncouth names and challenging his authority," Ms Rose said.

"That resulted in my client smacking his bottom on that occasion at the park."

With respect to charge three, Ms Rose said text messages sent to the aggrieved on this occasion were non-threatening and only inappropriate in the context of the order.

"The text messages were not threatening in nature, although it would be submitted that continuing contact after you've been told not to contact someone may cause some concern to the aggrieved," she said.

"And clearly his behaviour, with respect to putting up posts on Instagram about relationships were more his inability to resolve the difficulties of the relationship breakdown and inability to see his children."

Ms Rose said her client has lost his employment and belongings as a result of these charges, and hopes to keep his blue card and continue working with youth in the future.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair placed the defendant on a six-month period of probation and opted to record no convictions.

"The purpose of the domestic violence order is to protect the aggrieved, and as much as you may have had feelings for the aggrieved, it's important that when the court acts to protect someone people aren't free to ignore those orders."

"Something as innocuous to the rest of us as an email or text saying you love them can be deeply hurtful to some people, and in any case, they are not to be sent while subject to these orders."

South Burnett

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