Charge after child accidentally scalded during parents' quarrel

A MAN involved in a domestic incident where an eight-year-old child suffered accidental burns after being scalded by hot water has been convicted and placed on a two-year community corrections order, with supervision.

The man, who cannot be named, appeared before magistrate Cate Follent in Bathurst Local Court on Monday.

The court heard how the man and his partner were involved in an argument. She threw coffee in his face and he retaliated swiping the sugar bowl and container filled with hot water back at her, not realising the child was standing nearby.

His solicitor, Mr Cheng, told the court it was an "unfortunate situation" and his client made full and frank admissions to police.


He said his client was unaware the child was sitting next to the partner when the incident happened and he then immediately assisted the child with their injuries.

He said his client had a limited record and was unlikely to reoffend.

"The situation is unfortunate in all circumstances," he said.

In submissions, Mr Cheng said he believed his client was entitled to a 25 per cent discount on sentencing and, given his limited record and the circumstances of the offence, a community corrections order would be appropriate.

He told the court his client had lost his job because of the stress and anxiety of the court proceedings.

"The experience has been quite taxing on him," he said.

In sentencing, Ms Follent noted the offence carries a maximum jail term of five years in the district court and two years in the local court jurisdiction.

She said the accused entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and was entitled to the full discount of 25 per cent, reflecting the timing of the plea.

She noted the offence occurred at home after an argument with the man's partner.

She had thrown a cup of coffee at him, and he swiped the sugar bowl and a container carrying hot water, which hit the partner and the child.

The eight-year-old suffered immediate burns to the upper face.

Ms Follent said she accepted the assault was reckless act by the accused but said the injury and harm done to the victim were significant and said she needed to send a message of general deterrence to the community.

"There needs to be a level of vigilance and care given when people are responsible for children," she said, and she convicted the man.