'Sadist and bully' to stay in jail
A Horowhenua man jailed for "sadistic" child abuse, including breaking a boy's teeth, has been rejected for parole.
Mark Owen Anthony, 32, was sent to prison for two years and eight months on three charges of assaulting a child and one each of child cruelty and injuring with reckless disregard.
He strangled a child until he was unconscious and forced mustard into another child's mouth as punishment for swearing.
In Palmerston North District Court last year, Judge Gerard Lynch described Anthony's behaviour as "bullying".
This month, Anthony met the Parole Board, but board members decided he wasn't ready to be freed after serving 11 months in jail.
"Anthony remains an undue risk to the safety of the community . . . The board will see him again in nine months' time," Judge Sir Patrick Mahony wrote in his report.
The decision was met with relief by a source familiar with the case, whose identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons.
"I'm just thrilled that he's not getting out. He needs to actually accept what he's done and stop his bullshit," the source said.
Anthony was to have faced trial, but on the eve of court proceedings he admitted the abuse.
All details that could lead to the identification of the children involved have been suppressed but the Manawatu Standard can reveal Anthony's cruel offending.
The first child was grabbed by the neck and pushed to the floor face first when he tried to get away from Anthony on July 25, 2009.
"[Anthony] put his hands around his throat and strangled him. He went unconscious," Judge Lynch said at Anthony's sentencing.
But Anthony was not finished - he threw the boy face first on to the ground, breaking his teeth.
On separate occasions Anthony shot his second victim in the leg with a BB gun, threw the boy to the floor and grabbed a pressure point on his neck and squeezed hard.
Anthony forced mustard into his third victim's mouth as punishment for swearing.
"This was not discipline. It was plainly cruelty. You clearly got some sort of sadistic pleasure out of this sort of dominance," Judge Lynch said.
The Parole Board members who met Anthony described his offending as involving "a gross loss of self-control" and "significant cruelty to children".
Judge Mahony's report said Anthony would start a drug treatment programme in October. The board called for a psychological report on him to "assist in gauging future risk" and provide treatment and reintegration recommendations.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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