A man has been deemed mentally fit to face sentencing at the Inverell Local Court after he smacked a child so hard it left a red, welted and bruised mark on his buttock.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, was charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm after police were notified of marks on the child earlier this year.
Presenting a psychological report to the court on Thursday, the man's solicitor Richard Wise applied for a section 14 order, which would take the charge out of the criminal system if the magistrate deemed him unfit due to mental health conditions.
Noting his diagnoses of borderline personality disorder, adult ADHD and major depressive disorder, Mr Wise said the findings of the report had changed his own "initial impulse" to deal with the charge under the law.
"It is a difficult matter and something of a balancing act," he noted.
Sergeant Mareika Wilkins for the prosecution argued for the charge to remain in the criminal system because of the serious nature and resulting injury of the man's assault, noting the photographs tendered to court of the damage caused.
Magistrate Holly Kemp agreed it was a balancing act, however taking into consideration the multiple mental health diagnoses against the act of "significant actual violence which caused his own [child] that injury", determined to sentence him in the court system.
"There is significant public interest in the matter being dealt with according to law," she decreed.
She called it "disappointing and concerning behavior" carried out because of a "simple and benign reason".
"It needs to send a message to the community that acts of domestic violence against children will not be tolerated."
He was convicted and placed on a 12-month community corrections order with supervision, and was ordered to undertake any treatment as recommended by his psychologist and/or other treating practitioner for his mental health.
He will also complete 50 hours of community service.
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