A Rotorua man has been sentenced for giving his 6-year-old stepson a black eye by elbowing him in the face while he was having a tantrum over being buckled into his car seat.

Kris Charles Clark, 35, appeared in the Rotorua District Court this week for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to assaulting a child and two charges of breaching community work.

Clark placed the boy in his booster car seat in the the car.

The child was focused on something else and had a tantrum about Clark buckling him into the seat. Clark became frustrated and in an attempt to get the child to comply he struck him the child in the face with his elbow.


The child was hit in the eye, causing him to scream and cry. He suffered a black eye.

Clark said he struck the child intentionally but he did not mean to injure him in the manner he did.

Judge Chris McGuire said he accepted Clark was somewhat stressed but that did not excuse what he had done. He said Clark had a string of convictions and there was no sign of them stopping. "You can look forward to going to jail if you don't start mending your ways."

He sentenced Clark to six months' community detention and nine months' supervision. A sentence of community work previously imposed was cancelled.