A drunken father who seized his 13-year-old son by the scruff of the neck and banged his head repeatedly against a wall has been spared a jail sentence.

The Keighley man, who cannot be named to protect the boy’s identity, pleaded guilty to causing him actual bodily harm on April 2 last year.

He attacked the boy in front of his younger brother when they turned up at his home because there was nothing to eat at their mother’s house, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutor Joanna Butler-Savage said the boy told police he did not like his dad because he was drunk and violent.

He said he ordered him out of the house, grabbed him by the neck of his top, dragged him into the hall and pushed him. He seized him by the arm, banged his head repeatedly against the wall and slapped his face.

The man pushed his son out of the house and told him not to come back.

The boys went for help to their mother’s neighbour. They were hungry and one was sobbing, Miss Butler-Savage said. His mother took the older boy to hospital for a check-up. He had suffered a lump, scratches and reddening.

The boy told the police: “I was frightened when my dad was hurting me.”

The court heard his father accused his son of being violent and abusive when the police interviewed him.

The man had convictions for assault and causing actual bodily harm to his partner.

His barrister, Jayne Beckett, said the man’s offending was caused by drink and he had taken steps to address the problem. He voluntarily attended Project 6 in Keighley and was receiving help from his probation officer.

He no longer saw his children and they were in no danger from him.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge James Stewart QC, said: “Violence against children is an awful thing.”

He was sentenced to an intensive community order with 12 months’ supervision, an alcohol treatment requirement and a three month overnight curfew.

“Think yourself extremely fortunate,” Judge Stewart told him.