A 21-YEAR-OLD Portland man who kicked a toddler and pulled out his hair has been sentenced to three months’ jail.
Chief magistrate Peter Lauritsen ordered Benjamin James Price serve the three months’ jail sentence that had previously been suspended after finding him guilty of four counts of assault against the two-year-old child in 2012 and for breaching a suspended sentence order.
Police earlier this year told the Warrnambool Magistrates Court that Price and the boy’s mother had been in a relationship.
Price was driving with her and her son, who was in a rear car seat. The toddler was crying and making noise and Price allegedly reached over and pulled his hair so hard some was pulled from his head.
Police said three days later Price was drinking bourbon when he told the toddler to stop looking at him. He then ripped off the boy’s nappy and slapped him on the buttocks, causing bruising and scratches, and kicked him in the ribs.
A doctor found the toddler had suffered multiple bruises, some consistent with blunt-force trauma.
Price pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court in mid-February to unlawful assault, recklessly causing injury, assault by kicking and driving offences.
He was placed on a 12-month community corrections order (CCO), received another suspended jail sentence and lost his driver’s licence for six months. However he was caught driving without a licence soon after receiving the suspended jail sentence.
Price’s sentencing was adjourned until April 3 to await a justice plan but he failed to appear at court and was recently taken into custody.
Xavier Farrelly, for Price, said Price had not attended court on April 3 because he was running late and did not want to incur the court’s wrath.
Mr Farrelly said Price had an intellectual disability and did not appropriately adapt his behaviour.
He said Price had changed his attitude since the offending and had been working in employment and asked that Price be assessed for a CCO.
However Mr Lauritsen said he did not believe continuing the suspension of the earlier jail sentence was appropriate and ordered Price serve the three months that had previously been suspended.
He also ordered Price be placed on a 12-month CCO when he was released from jail in August and be subject to supervision, undergo rehabilitation for alcohol abuse, obey a justice plan and do community work.