A father has escaped jail for kicking his young daughter with steel-capped boots and abusing her for almost two years.

Shaun Eden Lindsay, 37, was today sentenced at the Manukau District Court to 12 months home detention for injuring with intent and a representative charge of assault.

Judge Richard Earwacker also gave the 37-year-old a stern warning that he would be monitoring his progress through judicial reports.

The court heard how for almost two years, Lindsay abused his 10-year-old daughter who was in his sole custody.

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In September 2013, he kicked her around her upper thighs with his steel-capped boots which made her cry, caused bruising and prevented her from sitting down for some time.

Another time, he returned home and his then-partner told him his daughter had been misbehaving so he slapped her across the face.

When she once slept in, it angered him so he pushed her against the wall.

On a different occasion he kicked her so hard he broke his own toe because she went outside to play with the other children and had lied about doing the washing up.

After the abuse was uncovered two years ago, the girl was taken into CYFs care and now lives with another family.

Lindsay admitted the charges of injuring with intent and assault and moved to Dargaville to remove himself from the vices of Auckland.

The court heard how Lindsay hasn't contacted his daughter since the charges were laid, despite her wanting to see her father and his desire to repair the relationship.

At sentencing, Lindsay addressed Judge Earwacker and told him how much he wanted to see his daughter to apologise to her.

"[I want to] show her my weakness of what happened because I regret all the stuff I'd done."

Judge Earwacker said he was satisfied Lindsay showed remorse and that he'd made "genuine efforts" to rehabilitate himself by taking a Ministry of Education parenting programme, getting a new supportive partner and removing himself from Auckland.

However, the judge said he was troubled by earlier reports which said Lindsay lacked insight into his offending and tried to minimise it by saying it "wasn't that hard".

Judge Earwacker also couldn't be sure of the effect of the abuse on his daughter as there was no victim impact statement.

"The victim sustained moderate injuries but it's unclear about ongoing emotional harm. Clearly what you have done would have damaged the relationship and provided ongoing issues for your daughter."

His victim was vulnerable, defenceless and suffered a gross breach of trust, the judge said.

For the lead offence of injuring with intent, Judge Earwacker set a starting point of 21 months imprisonment and gave an uplift to 33 months for the totality of the offending.

He then gave a discount of three months for remorse and 20 per cent, or six months, for Lindsay's guilty plea leaving an end sentence of 24 months which he converted to home detention.

He also ordered Lindsay complete an alcohol and drug counselling programme, anger management courses and other rehabilitative programmes his probation officer deemed suitable and that he complete 100 hours community service.

Lindsay was sentenced to 12 months home detention to be served concurrently for the assault charge.

Judge Earwacker said Lindsay would be judicially monitored so he could ensure he was on track.

"This is not an easy sentence, this is going to enable to you to attain the skills required to move forward and be a useful member of this community."

Lindsay thanked the judge.

"I won't fail, your honour."

Outside court, Lindsay's lawyer Hugh Leabourn said his client was "deeply remorseful" for what took place and that he now wanted to move on and use the opportunities provided by his sentence.