Stepdad jailed for assault on child and partner


A CAIRNS stepfather "had low self esteem" when he punched and spat on his partner and her three-year-old child, a court has heard.

The 36-year-old plumber appeared in Cairns Magistrates Court via video link from Lotus Glen Correctional Centre and pleaded guilty to five charges, including assault occasioning bodily harm, assault and breaching a domestic violence order.

The court heard the offences, committed in late September and early October, were the culmination of the defendant feeling sorry for himself.

"Two months before, his work had dried up; he was essentially out of work, sitting around with nothing to do," Ken Cuthbertson, defending, said.

"His self esteem was affected, he thought he was not pulling his weight and started drinking earlier in the day."

He said the defendant had been drinking regularly since the age of 16 and on September 30 had six rum and Cokes.

Mr Cuthbertson called the assaults "particularly degrading conduct" and said "he should have been able to control himself".

No more than two days later the defendant turned on his stepson again, knocking the child over.

Despite the assault on her child, who considered the defendant a father figure, the boy's mother had forgiven the accused.

Magistrate Catherine Benson said this had no weight in court.

"You are fortunate indeed that she has seen fit to forgive you," Ms Benson said.

"But that does not influence me.

"Of great concern to me is that a child was not only involved but was a direct victim - an extremely vulnerable human who looked to you for love and comfort, not risk and fear."

She said the defendant's self-pitying drinking binge "made it worse".

Ms Benson jailed the accused for 12 months, including 76 days as time served.

The offender is scheduled to be ­released on parole on February 3.