Father jailed as 'deterrence' for beating

A Vancouver man who beat one of his teenaged daughters with a broomstick for failing to clean her room was sentenced Friday to three months in jail.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice David Tysoe said he was following the principle of "general deterrence" when he sentenced the man, who also slapped another daughter in the face until her nose bled for attending a Buddhist temple and refusing to eat meat.

The man's wife was fined $500 for her role in the assaults, which included cutting the girls' hair against their will and tying the hands and feet of one of them. Both were convicted earlier by a jury. Neither can be named due to a publication ban.

Court was told the assaults began in late 1999 and continued into the early months of 2000 after two of the couple's four children began to frequent a Buddhist temple and declared their intention to become vegetarians. The parents believed the two girls were falling under the spell of the temple, which they compared to a cult.

Prosecutor Carla Taylor said the violence began with the forced haircuts and culminated with an incident in which the father tied one daughter's hands and feet before slapping her repeatedly in the face, causing her nose to bleed and face to bruise.

During this beating, Ms. Taylor said, the father said, "I'm going to slap you until you awaken from this cult."

The couple's lawyer, Peter Kendall described the offences as "overblown."

Outside the courtroom, he added that the couple wanted a jury of their peers, but only three of the jurors were of Asian descent. The verdict "would have been different, maybe," Mr. Kendall said.