A STEPFATHER pushed his stepson into a bedpost and repeatedly shook him because the child wouldn't clean his room, an Ipswich court heard.
The 41-year-old Yamanto man, who cannot be named, asked his de facto's five-year-old son to clean his bedroom, but the child refused and tried to get past the man.
The stepfather pushed the boy into the bedpost and grabbed him by the back of the head, repeatedly shaking him.
The child was left with bruising to his ears and swelling to the back of his head.
At the child's day care centre the following day, on November 1 last year, the boy started rubbing his head during rest time and complaining it hurt.
Staff informed the Department of Child Safety, who came to the centre and spoke to the child.
He said his dad had hit his head on the bed pole and held the back of his head while shaking it.
A paediatric specialist at the Ipswich Hospital examined the child and concluded the injuries couldn't have come about through normal play or accidents.
The man was questioned and said he wanted a lawyer before he spoke to police.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Carmont said the matter was serious as it was committed against a defenceless child.
"Children should not be subjected to violence ... resulting in injuries - a deterrent penalty must be imposed," Sgt Carmont said.
Defence lawyer Daniel Rogers said since the day of the offence the stepfather had made significant progress in addressing his anger management problems.
Mr Rogers said the man had learnt alternate parenting styles and had completed a course to help him cope with raising children.
"The incident has strengthened the family unit," Mr Rogers said.
"He has done everything he can do and is extremely remorseful."
Magistrate Michael Quinn accepted the man hadn't deliberately pushed the child into the bedpost and said compared to other cases of child abuse, the matter was at the lower end of the scale.
"But your duty is to protect and not harm," Mr Quinn told the defendant.
"It is unlikely you will reoffend and you are normally a respectable member of the community."
The man pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and was fined $850.