A judge said the evidence of a four-year-old boy that he had been struck by his father brought to mind the Biblical verse “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings”.

District Judge Gwyn Jones said at Llandudno court that he was satisfied with the little lad’s testimony that his father had kicked him in the lips, causing a small abrasion in the mouth.

The boy gave his evidence from a room with a video link to court, sitting beside a woman expert acting as an intermediary.

Mentioning the Biblical text District Judge Gwyn Jones said: “He’s too young and innocent to make up the evidence. There could be some inconsistencies but he’s given a credible and consistent explanation as to how he has been subject to unlawful force.”

The boy’s 29-year-old father, from Denbighshire, who cannot be named because it would identify his son, held his face in his hands as he was jailed for 26 weeks after being found guilty of common assault.

District Judge Jones said the use of a foot, albeit when not in shoes or trainers, had happened in the boy’s own home and only time would tell whether he would come to terms with what happened.

Prosecuting, Helen Hall said the case came to light last November when the lad told a teaching assistant: “My dad kicked me in the mouth.”

She told the teacher responsible for safeguarding, and then social services, police and specialist paediatricians became involved. Medical experts believed the injury, though minor, was non-accidental and the teacher stated that the lad, “a happy, chatty boy” had said he cried and went to bed.

The defendant’s former partner told defence solicitor Graham Parry in evidence that their son did not complain about his injury. She did not know where or how it was caused.

When the defendant was asked whether he assaulted his son he replied: “Of course not, no.”

He added: “I would never harm my child…all kids have an imagination, in my eyes he’s lied.”

Mr Parry suggested there could be “a host of innocent explanations”.

There had been mention of “play-fighting”, of a door handle and of being kicked near the knee.

Giving his verdict the district judge said medical evidence supported that the lad had been kicked on the lips. “What reason would he have to make up the evidence?” he asked.

On his release from prison the father must pay costs of £115. The judge remarked that he had previous convictions including for affray, harassment and criminal damage and also for possessing a knife.