Nelson man admits child cruelty

A Nelson man has been handed a 16-week suspended jail term after pleading guilty to two counts of cruelty to a child.

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

Michael Cocker (25), of Waidshouse Close, Nelson, smacked the child on a night which Judge Beverly Lunt said he “lost control”.

Andrew Nuttall (prosecuting) said on the night of the incident in September last year, Cocker slapped the child “proper hard” making the child scream. This was said to have taken place up to 10 times.

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Mr Nuttall said the slaps of “considerable force” left the child with bruising.

Another child was also smacked, causing it to cry.

Cocker also deliberatley ripped up a pair of children’s shorts that were said to be the child’s favourite pair, Burnley Crown Court heard, and he threatened to put the children under the floorboards.

Mr Nuttall told the court that on arrest, Cocker said the child had been naughty and that the smacking had worked because everything went quieter.

Cocker had also said he was under a lot of stress at the time as it was the anniversary of his father’s death.

Mark Stuart (defending) said Cocker had pleaded guilty and accepted he had gone beyond the boundaries of what was acceptable.

Mr Stuart said Cocker had never sought to cause the child an injury.

He added that Cocker was sorting himself out and had got back into full time employment after going to Inspire for a period this year.

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Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Cocker: “You are an adult, you knew right from wrong.”

Judge Lunt also said Cocker’s threat to put the children under the floorboards was “mean”.

Cocker’s sentence is suspended for 12 months and he was also given a 12 month supervision order.