A man who repeatedly beat a toddler and got his dog to lick peanut butter off the the boy’s chest for ‘banter’ has been jailed.
Michael Leeson’s ‘degrading’ treatment of the three-year-old came to light after he was arrested for child neglect offences.
The 35-year-old slapped the boy around the face as hard as he could while they were left alone together at an address in Doncaster in early 2018.
He warned the boy’s mother that her kids would be taken away if social services found out about the assault and tried to keep him out of nursery so staff would not see the marks on his face and ear.
But a nursery worker did eventually notice the injuries and a doctor later concluded the youngster had been subjected to a ‘severe beating’ and struck with as much force as Leeson could muster.
Leeson was arrested in March 2018 and later pleaded guilty to assaulting or ill-treating a child. He was jailed for two years and four months at Sheffield Crown Court.
The judge, Recorder Nicholas Lumley, called it a ‘cruel and callous’ attack.
Police launched an investigation which revealed the child had been beaten more than once over a number of weeks.
During one ‘degrading’ incident, the boy suffered scratches to his chest after Leeson smeared peanut butter over it and encouraged his whippet to lick it off.
Detective Inspector Simon Leake said: ‘This was a heart-breaking case in which the young child was not able to articulate what happened to them, so we did all we could to ensure their voice was still heard.
‘I would like to commend the hard work of our partners in health, social care and education, who worked tirelessly to assist our investigation.
‘Protecting the most vulnerable in our society remains a force priority, and we will continue to do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.’
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