A Kaingaroa father who injured his 4-month-old son has been sentenced to home detention and community work and banned from associating with children without approval from authorities.
Benjiman Athol Boynton, 22, unemployed was found guilty by a Rotorua District Court jury this year of two charges of injuring his son with reckless disregard for his safety.
Judge Phillip Cooper yesterday sentenced Boynton to 10 months' home detention and 250 hours' community work.
Boynton's child suffered leg fractures and a broken arm between November 29, 2009 and March 31, 2010 at Kaingaroa as a result of the assaults.
Judge Cooper said the boy was found with a fracture to his arm which a Rotorua Hospital paediatrician found was caused from wrenching or twisting. Boynton said he may have done this while handling the boy roughly while wrapping him.
A break was also found at the base of the child's leg as well as fractures to the right leg and lower thigh and there was other evidence of trauma, Judge Cooper said. Boynton said he was physically putting the baby up and down trying to get him to walk but Judge Cooper said Boynton's explanation was not consistent with the injuries suffered.
Judge Cooper said Boynton had been warned by his father about handling a baby roughly.
Judge Cooper said it was Boynton's ignorance and naivety regarding a newborn baby that was at the root of the offending rather than any intent to injure the child, who had made a good recovery.
Boynton had been involved in a parenting programme and was receiving support from Tipu Ora. Child Youth and Family was involved with the family.
Boynton was remorseful and visibly upset by what he had done and highly motivated to address issues, Judge Cooper said.
Judge Cooper said the starting point was 2 years' jail but reduced that to one year and nine months to take into account Boynton's remorse and rehabilitation efforts. Given the sentence was under two years' jail, Judge Cooper said he was able to convert the sentence to one of home detention.
Rotorua Crown prosecutor Chris Macklin had said the vulnerability of the child and the nature of the injuries were too serious for home detention.
Boynton's lawyer Harry Edward said Boynton's children were in the care of other family members and the incident was an isolated one.