An Illawarra man who whipped a stranger's child with a dog lead has avoided a full-time jail sentence.
Andrew Slattery, 56, of Mount Keira, confessed to assaulting the boy in retaliation for the now-nine-year-old colliding with Slattery’s white border collie ‘Jet’ at a park in West Wollongong on the evening of May 15 last year.
Court documents said the boy, who suffers from autism, was riding laps along a cement footpath at the park with his parents and brother when he collided with the dog.
On impact, the boy fell off his bike and Jet, not on a lead, yelped and ran away.
Slattery called the boy a "moron", then struck him with the lead, described as a horse lead with a two centimetre-thick rope.
The lead's nine centimetre-long metal buckle connected with the boy's back, causing a distinctive red welt.
"The strike with the lead was intentional and in retaliation for the collision between the victim and the dog," court documents said.
The boy's parents and some passers-by came to his aid when they heard him scream.
Police issued a public appeal for information and eventually arrested Slattery at his home.
In court on Friday, Magistrate Michael Stoddart ordered a remorseful Slattery perform 350 hours of unpaid community service work as punishment for his offending.
Slattery declined to speak to reporters outside the courthouse.
The boy’s parents, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of their son, said they were glad Slattery had apologised and were happy the matter had now been finalised.