'No control': Mum flogs, stomps son's head in sickening act
A MOTHER who stomped on her young son's head, flogged him with a coat hanger and refused to take him to hospital was jailed for the "deplorable" acts she blamed on a cultural upbringing.
People in the Caloundra Magistrates Court gallery were reduced to tears hearing the "horrid" details of how the 30-year-old woman "exploded" at her eight-year-old son for playing a computer game.
Police prosecutor Brendan Newman said the boy woke up on the morning of February 15 thinking it was Saturday, didn't get ready for school and thought he was allowed free time.
The Caloundra woman, who can't be named to protect her young victim, got mad and repeatedly struck her son on the back and bottom with a coat hanger until it broke.
Senior Sergeant Newman said the boy fell, but it "didn't stop her".
"She stomped on the back of his head... his face was stomped into the ground," he said.
"His eye swelled and there was immediate pain to his face... swollen and blackened eye."
The court heard the boy's grandmother woke up and saw her daughter carrying an ice pack to the child, but the offender refused to take her son to hospital.
The grandmother, who supported her daughter in court on Wednesday, took the boy to hospital and the child abuse office at Maroochydore.
Snr Sgt Newman said the behaviour couldn't be excused as discipline.
"Parents have the role to protect and provide stability for a child... she has betrayed this bond," he said.
"It's deplorable... (the) result could have been worse and a serious head injury."
After refusing to be interviewed by police, the woman persistently denied her offending and set the case for a hearing date, but eventually pleaded guilty on Wednesday to assault occasioning bodily harm whilst armed.
Duty lawyer Donna Hanslow-Hastie said the defendant's "built-up" anger towards the child's father overflowed that morning and she "exploded".
"She was in a highly-emotional state with little or no ability to control that," she said.
Despite admitting she "needs help", the woman blamed the behaviour on her cultural upbringing in Papua New Guinea, in a situation where she claimed physical discipline was "well-accepted".
"It's difficult to unlearn that behaviour," Ms Hanslow-Hastie said.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said the "inexcusable" behaviour was not accepted in Australia.
"This is your own flesh and blood... the power imbalance between you and your eight-year-old son is immeasurable," he said.
"For you to behave in the way you did, well it's unfathomable.
"That child is both vulnerable and powerless... despite the violence you meted out to the child, that child still wants you as his mum."
Mr Stjernqvist said the time to get parental help had passed and the incident was "too serious", even for a person with no criminal history.
He sentenced her to 12 months' jail, suspended for two years after serving four months behind bars.
The woman tearfully hugged her mother before being escorted to jail. The boy will remain in the care of his grandmother.