An unemployed man was jailed yesterday for 18 months for ill-treating his girlfriend's six-year-old son, who was taken to hospital with a broken leg after being thrown to the floor and beaten with a wooden stick. Sentencing Dickey Ng Kam-biu, Eastern Court magistrate Anthony Yuen Wai-ming said a long custodial sentence was necessary, especially as Ng used a stick to hit the boy. Ng, 28, was convicted on February 8 of two counts of ill-treating the child in their Yuen Long home. The offences took place between October 1, 2000, and March 14 last year. The court heard Ng threw the child to the floor and had once kicked him in his abdomen, making him vomit and causing his nose to bleed. The boy's broken leg resulted in him spending two months in hospital and the court heard he may be left with one leg shorter than the other. Mr Yuen said parents should use appropriate methods to teach their children, which should not include any kinds of corporal punishment. 'Many people may think that it would be all right to impose minor forms of corporal punishment on their children. But in my opinion, any kind of corporal punishment is not acceptable.' Mr Yuen said that because Ng had denied the charges, the child had been forced to testify. The magistrate said that according to a social welfare officer's report the case had exacerbated hatred within the family as the boy's mother and his eldest brother had testified against him. In mitigation, defence barrister Don Lo Man-lung said Ng was under the influence of drugs when he committed the offences, adding that the man was an introvert and did not know how to deal with children.