A 35-year-old man who assaulted four of his children using items such as a metal coal shovel and belt told police he was aware of the law regarding physical discipline but did not agree with some aspects of it.
In Invercargill District Court yesterday, Judge John Strettell sentenced the man, who has final name suppression, to six months' supervision on four charges of assaulting a child.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Denise Harvey said the father of five had used physical discipline on four of his children, who were aged 5, 6, 9 and 11, on different occasions since 2009.
The man's 11-year-old daughter told police she had been hit by her father on the backside with a belt and, on other occasions, with his hand and a plastic spatula but it was a long time ago, Ms Harvey said.
The girl said the 9-year-old had also been hit with the belt.
The 9-year-old said he had been hit on the backside with a metal coal shovel and his father's hand on several occasions, along with his siblings, Ms Harvey said.
The man was interviewed and admitted using a belt but denied using a spatula, she said.
He said he had hit three of the children on their backsides with his hand and metal coal shovel, Ms Harvey said. He was aware of the law regarding physical discipline of children but said he did not agree with some aspects of it, she said.
He said he realised it was wrong to hit children, she said.
The man's lawyer, Jono Ross, said his client had used several forms of discipline, which included making them do chores and sending them to their rooms - and it was only when those methods had not been successful that he had resorted to physical violence.
He had undertaken several interventions, including a parenting course, and was remorseful, Mr Ross said.
Judge Strettell said New Zealand society had moved on from where physical discipline was tolerated and the man had committed the offending with knowledge of the law.
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