A Christchurch father has been found guilty of assaulting his 4-year-old son after a two-day trial seen as a test of the anti-smacking laws.

After more than nine hours of deliberation, the Christchurch District Court jury last night found James Louis Mason not guilty of assault for lifting the bicycles his two sons were sitting on and slamming them back down.

But the third count - which accused him of pulling the 4-year-old's ear and punching him in the face - brought a guilty verdict.

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