September 2023

Cruel brute who battered child with belt leaving him covered in bruises is jailed

A cruel brute battered a six-year-old boy with a belt, leaving him covered in bruises “almost from head to toe”.

The injured youngster – barefoot and wearing pyjamas – was spotted crying as he wandered along a street in his pyjamas with no shoes on

He told a police officer he was “in the bad books” and had been ordered to leave a house.

James Hendry, 30, of Airdrie, Lanarkshire, was jailed for two years after he admitted assaulting the boy.

A paediatrician described his bruises as among the worst she’d ever seen.

Sheriff Joseph Hughes was handed 49 pages of photos showing the injuries in graphic detail.

The sheriff was so sickened by what he saw that he had to stop looking at the images at one point.

Hendry’s 28-year-old partner appeared alongside him in the dock. She admitted failing to supervise the child adequately.

Airdrie Sheriff Court heard that a driver saw the boy in the town’s Gartlea Road around 5pm on August 5 last year.

Karen Yuill, prosecuting, said: “He was wearing pyjamas and carrying a rucksack. He had no shoes on.

“The motorist took him to the police station.

“Police officers saw he had bruising to his face, neck and ear.

“He was asked how this had happened and said he had been hit and told to leave the house he was in. He said he was in the bad books and had a sore back.

“The boy then lifted up his pyjama top and showed that his full back, from the shoulders to his trousers waistband, was bruised.

“He said he had been hit with a belt on regular occasions when he was naughty and was often made to sit in the corner of a room.”

Hendry and a 28-year-old woman appeared as first offenders.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Hughes told Hendry: “The injuries on the body of this young, vulnerable boy were truly horrific. They were almost from head to toe.

“I had to take a break from looking at the photos because I found them so upsetting. A paediatrician said the bruising was among the worst she had ever seen.

“You blame everyone else – it’s social work’s fault, the system’s fault, it’s the child’s fault – but you are the adult here.”

The sheriff said he would have jailed Hendry for three years but for his guilty plea.

There were shouts of ‘Beast’ and ‘B*****d’ from the public gallery as Hendry was taken to the cells.

Sheriff Hughes told the woman he could “step back” from imposing a prison sentence in her case.