South Shields thug walks free from court after slapping boy
An attacker who left a young boy with bruised cheeks and ears when he slapped his face with both hands has walked free from court.
The young victim said he was "10 out of 10 in terms of feeling sad" after the violence, which broke out when David Handy "lost his temper".
Newcastle Crown Court heard Handy, 28, who has served prison sentences for robbery and attacking an ex girlfriend in the past, had asked the boy a question and lashed out when he did not hear a reply.
Prosecutor Andrew Finlay told Newcastle Crown Court: "He replied but the defendant did not hear what he said.
"As a result, he indicated the defendant lost his temper and struck him to both sides of the face with both of his hands.
"He describes this effectively as a clapping motion, with the boy's head in between the two hands.
"He had bruising to his cheeks and ears.
"He said it hurt when he was hit.
"In terms of how he felt when he was hit, he said it was 10 out of 10 in terms of feeling sad".
The court heard an investigation was launched after the authorities became aware of the attack and it was revealed Handy had also slapped another child, who fortunately suffered no injury.
Handy, of Gibbons Walk, South Shields, admitted assault in relation to the bruised boy and common assault in relation to the second victim.
Mr Recorder Singh said in relation to the attack on the first child: "You struck him with both of your hands in a clapping motion.
"His description of the pain and sadness is 10 out of 10.
"To make a young child feel that anguish is something you must reflect upon."
The judge said it was "simply good fortune, rather than design" that the second child did not suffer injury.
Handy was sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for two years, with programme requirements and a three-month nighttime curfew.
The court heard Handy had received a "favourable" report from the probation service.