A WIDNES dad who struck his two-year-old daughter twice with a belt because she had a tantrum has been jailed today for eight months.

The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted child cruelty at an earlier hearing on February 10.

A neighbour called social services and the police after hearing a ‘loud slap’ and a child screaming at 5.30pm on December 20, last year.

Sentencing him at Chester Crown Court this afternoon, the Recorder of Chester, Judge Elgin Edwards said: “You used the belt as a weapon on a defenceless two-year-old.

“You deliberately went to get a belt and you hit her with that belt twice. The noise was such that a neighbour was alerted.

“The minimum sentence must be 12 months’ imprisonment but because you pleaded guilty, I will reduce it by one third.

“I cannot suspend it because parents who use a belt upon a two-year-old child must accept the circumstances.”

Myles Wilson, prosecuting, said the child suffered reddening and bruising to her buttocks and the top of her right thigh. She was kept in hospital overnight and was currently in foster care.

The defendant told police his daughter had a tantrum whilst he was having a meal with his partner.

He admitted folding a belt and striking the girl twice.

He said it was the first time he had hit her.

Simon Christie, defending, stressed it was an isolated incident and the defendant had expressed his remorse.

The family had hoped to be reunited.

He said his client would lose his ‘significantly well paid job’ if he was jailed.