Father sentenced for hitting son
By Miranda Wood
Sydney Morning Herald, July 13, 2003
(AUSTRALIA) A central Coast man has been the first person to be sentenced under new legislation protecting children from physical punishment.

The man, of Woy Woy, was given a 12-month good behaviour bond for hitting his five-year-old son with a leather belt, causing bruising on the child's buttocks and thighs.

The boy's mother reported the assault to Woy Woy police station in January and her son received treatment at Gosford Hospital.

The NSW Department of Community Services was also called in to investigate.

The man was charged under the Crimes Amendment (Child Protection - Physical Mistreatment) Act which came into effect on December 5 last year.

The legislation gives police the power to prosecute parents if they use physical force to any part of a child's head or neck.

It also applies to any other part of the body if it harms the child for more than a short period of time.

The Child Protection Act was introduced to clarify the law on acceptable punishment of children.

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