A taxi driver has been jailed for battering a 10 year-old boy he wrongly blamed for throwing a snowball at his car.
Romanian Constantin Filipescu leapt from his cab and chased after a group of youngsters when his vehicle was hit.
The boy who threw the snowball ran off but his friend was left inside a bus shelter where Filipescu brutally punched him in the head three times.
The schoolboy, who has not been named, as left hysterical and unable to sleep after the assault in Plymouth, Devon.
Filipescu, 36, who admitted common assault, was jailed for six weeks by magistrates in Plymouth.
District judge Diana Baker told him: “You did not stop at reprimanding the child. You did not stop at pushing that child. You hit him three times.
“The really aggravating feature is the appalling effect it has had on this young child.”
Gareth Warden, prosecuting, said: “The driver got out and chased the group of children. The 10-year-old remained inside the bus shelter.
“Filipescu punched him to the head and said: ‘What do you think you are doing?’ He hit him a couple of times more.”
The child suffered swelling to his face and bruising to the back of his hand.
After the case the boy’s mother said: “I’ve seen him in his taxi a couple of times after the incident and I don’t think this is right.
“If he could do this to a child, what could he do to someone else?
“It’s changed my son a bit. He is sleeping better now, but he does not like playing outside so much now.”
Pc Laura Totterdell said: “We are pleased with this sentence. This is a very positive result.
“People need to know that they cannot take the law into their own hands. They cannot mete out physical punishment.”