Stephen James Pledger, 55, pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault when he appeared in court yesterday.
The court heard how the Springlands man returned home from work on Friday, September 20, and found a 14-year-old boy, who was in his care at the time, outside. He told the boy to go inside, but the boy took off on his bike.
Pledger followed the boy, stopped him and made him get into the car, then struck him with the back of his hand.
The boy had recently moved to Blenheim from Wellington into the care of Pledger and his wife, because he had been expelled from school.
Judge Turner said Pledger had let the boy down, and while there was no physical harm caused, he had caused him visible emotional harm.
"You lost your temper and you struck him about the head . . . [ the young boy] was extremely upset and no longer wants to live in this area," he said.
"You should not be left in charge of any young person, particularly a vulnerable one."
Pledger was sentenced to 50 hours community work and ordered to pay $100 for emotional harm to the boy at $10 per week.
- The Marlborough Express