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New trial ordered for dad who spanked son

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A Canadian provincial supreme court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of assault for spanking his 6-year-old son in New Brunswick.

The province's three-judge panel ruled 2-1 in Fredericton in favor of an appeal in the conviction of man, who can't be identified to protect his son's identity, The (Fredericton) Daily Gleaner reported.

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In the original trial, the father said he, his wife and two children were making a car trip in August 2009 and the boy was screaming in the back seat, kicking the front seats, throwing things and unbuckling his seatbelt. The father said he repeatedly tried to calm the boy down and threatened to spank him if the bad behavior continued.

At one point, the father said he stopped the car and pulled the boy out and spanked him, court heard.

One woman who testified in the original trial said she heard the 6-year-old yelling, "You're beating me senseless," the newspaper said. Another man testified he couldn't tell if the father was striking the boy or not, as their backs were to him.

In their written rulings, one of the appeal judges ruled the original judge "applied a subjective standard by delegating to an onlooker the determination of guilt or innocence" and "applied a subjective standard when she said 'no spanking should go on and on to the point that strangers pick up the phone and call the police.'"

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The date for a second trial wasn't immediately set.

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