A Wanganui man beat a child who could not pronounce a word properly, using a slipper and drumstick, in an attack that left the child needing hospital care.

The man, who has name suppression, turned himself in to police the day after the August incident.

Whanganui District Court was told he was attempting to tutor a child and became frustrated with the boy's inability to pronounce a word. He punished him with a slipper, and then a drumstick, with repeated blows to the back of the hand, and then to his head.

The assault stopped while the child tried to improve his skills, but continued again with a smack on the backside. The child again tried to pronounce the word, and when he couldn't, the man slapped him around the head.

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The lesson ended with the boy and another child both screaming and crying, frightened and confused.

The next day the boy had swelling about his body and the man arranged for him to be taken to hospital.

The man pleaded guilty to assault with an instrument, breach of a protection order and assault on a child.

He was yesterday sentenced by Judge Dugald Matheson to six months' home detention and must also undertake a domestic violence programme. Judge Matheson granted name suppression to protect the identity of the victim.

"This behaviour was shameful and you deserved to be shamed, but they do not.''