Violent man punched child as if he was a grown-up

By Chris Willmott 23/05 Updated: 23/05 15:44

A SOLIHULL man who punched his girlfriend’s seven-year-old son in the face ‘as if he was a fully-grown man’ has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Richard Hardware (27) of Milholme Green, Damson Wood, Solihull, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to a charge of cruelty to a child.

He was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years, with 18 months supervision, and was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Richard Franck said that in December last year the boy’s mother asked him to take her baby’s nappy and put it in a bin, which he did.

But when he returned to the room Hardware shouted at him: “What are you watching me for? Get here now.”

He gestured for the seven-year-old to get down on the floor in front of him, and when the frightened boy complied Hardware started to punch him in the face.

The boy’s horrified mother, who described Hardware hitting him ‘as if he was a fully-grown man,’ shouted that he had blood coming from his mouth.

At that, Hardware seemed to come to his senses and stopped and sat back in the chair.

The boy’s mother told the youngster to go to his room out of the way, and was then told by Hardware not to send him to school the next day.

She later contacted the police, and when he was arrested Hardware made no comment to questions put to him, added Mr Franck.

Tim Pole, defending, said: “It was him remonstrating and, in a fit of temper, lashing out more than once.”

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