A 57-year-old man burned his five-year-old grandson with a cigarette during a “stupid” game, a court heard.

The boy suffered two burns, one to his leg and the other to his arm, after his grandfather prodded him with the lit cigarette, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Tom Rushbrooke, solicitor advocate for the man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the child, said it was reckless but he had not intended to cause serious injury.

“It wouldn’t be fair to say he had gone out to deliberately burn the child,” Mr Rushbrooke said. “He has played a stupid, idiotic game with his grandchildren, who he worships.”

Prosecutor Karma Melly said a teaching assistant at the boy’s school noticed that his leg was bleeding and asked him about it. A social worker was contacted.

The boy was examined by a paediatrician who found two well-defined burn marks, which indicated they were not accidental.

Miss Melly said the Crown accepted the injuries were caused as part of a game, but said they were deliberate acts.

Mr Rushbrooke said his client, who pleaded guilty to child cruelty, was drinking heavily at the time but had drastically cut down on his intake of alcohol and was seeking help at the Piccadilly Project.

Judge Robert Bartfield told the man he had pleaded guilty to an unusual offence but he was dealing with him on the basis that he had been playing a family game, chasing youngsters with a cigarette and sticking the cigarette onto them – “not with the intention of doing them any significant harm, but no doubt with the intention of making them hurt and squeal, which no doubt you would have found amusing”.

The judge told the defendant he had behaved like a 13-year-old. He gave him a 12-month Community Order, with a medium-level activity requirement and a six-month alcohol treatment requirement, and thinking skills exercises.