A Montreal mother was found guilty of assault after repeatedly striking her 11-year-old son with a leather belt and phone cable because he missed a test in school.
Although many photos show the injuries sustained, the mother denied beating her son.
“Although a parent is permitted to use force to correct a child, such force must not be excessive and must be used for the benefit of the child’s upbringing,” Quebec Court Judge Dennis Galiatsatos ruled last week, “not motivated by bad temper, frustration, impatience or excessive anger.”
A publication ban was enforced given the boy’s age.
Investigators say that the boy informed them that an argument erupted between him and his mother after she learned he hadn’t given her a letter from the school informing her he missed a spelling test.
He said that in an outburst of rage, spanked him with a leather belt several times on his legs and buttocks after asking him to drop his pants and raise his hands..
“By reflex, the child tried to block the blows with his arms,” the judgment states, “but the accused told him to pull them up immediately, threatening him ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1…!’”
The boy told authorities he tried to flee the apartment, but his mother grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the floor.
At that point, he said, he tried to block his face as she slapped and hit him, including one blow with her cell phone. She also whipped him across the leg with a phone charging wire, he added.
The boy said his mother asked him to wash his tears before returning to school and gave a warning: “If you say something to school or to your teacher, you will see.”
In her defence, the mother denied the assault ever took place but could not explain how her son suffered the injuries documented in the photos.
Contrary to what the boy said, she argued her son got angry after she confronted him about the missed test.
The mother lied about the injuries and said her son got into a fight with classmates that day. She also said it would have been foolish of her to send him back to school after beating him.
However, the judge rejected the narration as completely implausible.
“In this case, (the mother’s) version, although firm and persistent, comes up against the photos of the child’s injuries, which are objective, material and reliable,” Galiatsatos wrote. “Basically, the pictures don’t lie.”
The defence also argued the boy’s testimony contained contradictions, including that he couldn’t say how many times his mother hit him. The judge ruled that the boy shouldn’t be expected to give a precise account of events given the flurry of blows he received.
“He expressed that all he wanted was for his mother to stop hitting him.”
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