A man who faced charges the Crown described as “significantly relating to child abuse” is to spend the next 10 months confined to his home
Benjiman Athol Boynton, of Kaingaroa Forest, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court today to home detention, five months after a jury found him guilty of two charges of injuring his four-month-old son with reckless disregard for his safety.
The Crown said the child had suffered broken bones and brain and eye bleeding.
The jury acquitted Boynton, 22, on more serious counts of causing the baby grievous bodily harm and an injury charge which was downgraded during the trial from one of maiming the infant. The charges spanned a period from January 2009 to March 31, 2010.
Judge Phillip Cooper said today the jury found it had not been proved that Boynton had deliberately injured the infant. His explanation for the injuries were that he may have handled him roughly during a nappy change or while jiggling the baby.
He said it was obvious Boynton was ignorant and naive about the fragility of a new-born. His pre-sentence report indicated he was at a low risk of reoffending, was upset and remorseful.
At the trial, Crown prosecutor Chris Macklin said that when Boynton’s infant was taken to Rotorua Hospital in March 2010 he was found to have a broken arm, leg and thigh, a brain and eye bleed consistent with the child being shaken and some ribs had been broken, possibly about a fortnight earlier.
A paediatrician described the injuries as potentially life threatening and non-accidental.
Macklin said the victim was extremely vulnerable, the offending was serious and would normally lead to imprisonment.
Boynton’s lawyer, Harry Edward. said Boynton's children were now under the care of Child, Youth and Family, which was working closely with the family as were Tipu Ora, an organisation which focuses on child and whanau support, and Family Focus.
He described Boynton’s offending as “isolated”, saying it was unlikely he would reoffend and he’d responded well to rehabilitation.
While on home detention, Boynton is to undertake family and parental responsibility courses, a Tikanga Maori programme and not be alone with children 16 and under without his probation officer’s permission. He’s also forbidden from drinking and drug taking.
After his detention’s finished Boynton’s not allowed to associate with anyone his probation officer tells him not to. He also has to finish any course not completed while on home detention.
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