A seven-year-old boy was thrashed with a leather strap by two women because he wouldn't eat his cheese for dinner, a court was told today.
The two women - the boy's mother, 24, and her 32-year-old friend - pleaded guilty in the District Court in Brisbane to assault causing bodily harm on February 25 last year.
Judge Milton Griffin placed the woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - on a six-month intensive correction order, which is regarded as a jail sentence served in the community.
They will be required to perform community service, attend courses and do anything else required of them by a corrective services officer for six months.
The court was told the mother and her son were visiting the other woman at her home on Brisbane's southern outskirts when the boy ate the ham and salad on his plate for dinner but refused to eat the cheese.
At first the other woman tried to force feed him while the mother held his arms.
When that didn't work, the mother hit him a few times on the top of the legs with a leather strap while the other woman used it to repeatedly lash him across the face and legs.
The court was shown photos taken of the boy's injuries six days after the attack.
Judge Griffin said that although the mother was less violent, she was equally responsible because she did nothing to protect her son.
"This was not a case of discipline going beyond the bounds of what is reasonable," Judge Griffin said.
"This was gratuitous violence towards the child."
HAVE YOU BEEN
TO THE NEWSROOM?