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North Cumbria man caught on camera slapping young stepson as he slept

Carlisle Crown Court

A NORTH Cumbria man whose violent and threatening behaviour towards his young stepson was caught on camera has been sentenced by a judge.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how the man, aged in his 40s, had set up CCTV in the child’s room.‬

But alarm bells rung for the boy’s mum when she overheard her son talking to another youngster. And when she checked the video footage, the man’s repeat offending came to light.‬

Clips captured him twice slapping the primary school age child in the head to wake him, swearing at him and barking threats and verbal abuse, saying on one occasion: “Are you stupid or deaf.”‬

“It is the physical violence towards (the boy), belittling of him and the insulting of him that constitutes the cruelty of this child,” said prosecutor Charles Brown.‬

The man admitted one child cruelty charge, having earlier told police he could sometimes be “grumpy” and spoken of his “old fashioned” and “old school” disciplinary approach.‬

Children’s services had been involved but since concluded the case having felt no further intervention was necessary. The man had also completed safeguarding courses.

Recorder Ciaran Rankin considered mitigation which included references and a probation service pre-sentence report. “You engaged in the preparation of that report,” said the judge. “You have accepted how your behaviour could be viewed by others as reprehensible. In every other way you seem to be an intelligent, hard-working individual.”‬

The man – who can’t be identified for legal reasons – received a 30-month community order comprising a rehabilitation requirement and attendance on a “building better relationships” course, and pay £400 costs.‬

But Recorder Rankin told the man of his criminal conduct: “It is threatening, aggressive, some physical violence; certainly insulting and belittling to a young boy under your care and control.”‬

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