A domestic abuse charity has condemned the actions of a man who beat his child with a bamboo cane, under the guise of parental discipline.

The South Canterbury man, who has permanent name suppression, has been sentenced to five months home detention at Timaru District Court.

He was found guilty of two representative charges of assault with a blunt object, after he struck his 13 year old son with a piece of bamboo in October.

The court heard how attack left his son with welts and broken skin, but the man claimed the treatment was permissible under God's law.


However Jill Proudfoot, a spokeswoman for the charity Shine which campaigns against domestic violence, said the man's behaviour has nothing to with religion.

"I don't think this is Christian behaviour at all. I don't it's got anything to do with Christianity. I think it's about patriarchal power."

Meanwhile, a church leader is calling for Christians to show leadership in how it treats children in the wake of the case.

Salvation Army Social Services Secretary Pam Waugh said as a community Christians should be showing the way in how people should be treated.

"We want Christians to stand in solidarity and show example to the community, that we can effectively discipline our children by using a more loving type of method."

Two earlier incidents involving the man's son and his 10-year-old daughter were also mentioned in court.

Defence counsel Jay Lovely told the court that community detention would be the best punishment, as the man had a Bible study one evening per week.

However, this option was declined by Judge Joanna Maze at sentencing.