A golf obsessed dad, who was determined his sons should be the 'next Tiger Woods', punched, hit and even bit the children when they performed badly.
Burnley Crown Court heard that the father became enraged if his six and eight year old sons missed a putt or allowed a ball to stray into a bunker.
The older boy - a junior golf champion - was hit on the leg with a golf iron, and suffered a cut to his ear when his angry father threw a ball at him from about four feet away. The younger boy had injuries including a scratched eye and scalp.
The man, who has separated from the children's mum since the abuse came to light and the involvement of children's agencies, was arrested after the six-year-old turned up at school with a facial injury.
In court the dad, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm and one of common assault, in June last year.
He was given 52 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, with 12 months supervision.
Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said the dad gave his sons golf tuition before and after school every day and if they did not play well, they would be assaulted.
After the six year old went to school injured and told his teacher his father had pinched his eye as they played golf that morning, the authorities became involved. Both boys were taken for medical attention and were interviewed by the police.
A paediatrician who examined the boys found several other injuries to the boys.
Miss Statham said the defendant was arrested and interviewed and made out a lot of the injuries were accidental.
In mitigation defence lawyer Miss Carolyn Smith, for the dad, said he was ordinarily very much a family man, who lived for his wife and children.
The barrister said :" They are clearly serious offences and he does now acknowledge that.
"He had an almost obsessive desire for his sons to become championship golf players."
Miss Smith said the defendant had a "loving relationship " with his sons and had been having contact with them.
She continued :" To deny the defendant his liberty at this stage would mean the children would be denied contact with their father."
Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told the defendant his actions must have hurt the children considerably and said it was " beyond belief" that as their father, he had assaulted his children over golf shots.
She added :"This is child cruelty. It's inexcusable and I do not believe any right thinking person could make any sense of it whatsoever.
"If you permit your obsession with golf to overcome you again and lay a finger on either of them you will immediately come back before me and I will send you to prison."
That takes pushy parenting to a new level, doesn't it? How cruel!.
More:Advice And Health
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