Parents Prosecuted For Disciplining Their Child
From 'The Crumbling Of Order' by P Atkinson

Mother Whips Children2 Years Probation2008, July
Parents Denounced By 8 Year-Old$600 Fine2005, October
Mum Lost Her Temper9 Months Probation2004, July
First Dad Prosecuted Under New Law 12 Months Good Behaviour Bond2003, July
Father Went Too Far 18 Months Probation2002, July
Mother Used A Stick No Penalty2000, October
Father Spanked Too Hard 18 Months Probation 2000, April
Father Hit His Son Acquitted 1998, August
(And The Inevitable Result)

Father Went Too Far
July, 31, 2002

A SUNSHINE Coast father who disciplined his young sons with a newspaper wrapped in tape has been placed on 18 months' probation.

The man, 37, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his children, was charged with two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm after he 'went too far' while disciplining his sons, aged 12 and 10, on January 16 last year.

He pleaded guilty before Judge John Robertson in the Maroochydore District Court.

Sentencing the man yesterday, Judge Robertson said parental discipline was not usually the province of criminal law but on this occasion the man had gone too far.

The court was told the boys had significant behavioural problems and misbehaved on a shopping trip with their mother and a neighbour on the day of the offence.

Their father sent them to their rooms but decided to discipline them further by hitting them on the bottom with the tape-wrapped newspaper.

The man "lost his cool" and his blows caused extensive bruising to the buttocks of both boys.

"This is a controversial topic which is very frequently the subject of public debate," Judge Robertson said. "Parenting in this day and age is a difficult occupation but you know that when you have the care and responsibility of a child you have a responsibility to act towards them in a loving and caring way."

He said while both of the boys had behavioural problems, violence caused fear and was unproductive when dealing with children.

He said the man had a problem with anger management but a jail term was not warranted as the boys obviously loved their father and were in contact on a daily basis.

Mother Used A Stick
October 2000

A woman who repeatedly beat her nine-year-old son with a stick was found guilty of assault but released without penalty.

Brisbane District Court judge Pasty Wolfe said:

They were the sort of blows that were commonly suffered by people who are now in their 40s and 50s when they were at school. And nobody thought anything about them.

Father Spanked Too Hard
April 2000

A Townsville father was placed on 18 months' probation after he spanked his two year old daughter hard enough to cause bruising so severe his finger marks were distinguishable.

David James Myles, 52,pleaded guilty in Townsville District court to a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm. District court judge Clive Wall said the incident did not appear to be a case of child abuse

"but more one of excessive force used by you in endeavouring to chastise your daughter or endeavouring to discipline her.
Tired Two-year-olds can exhibit unintentionally often aggravating behaviour — but that's no reason to strike the child with such force."

Father Hit His Son
( August 1998)

An Ipswich magistrate awarded a father $10,000 in court costs after he was acquitted of ill-treating his nine-year-old son, who suffered bruising from being hit across the arms, legs and back. His father had tried other disciplinary measures but nothing worked. He finally hit his son repeatedly after the boy wrote an offensive letter to a girl at school.

The court ruled parents had the right to hit

"as part and parcel of normal child-rearing".