By JR on Tuesday, August 23, 2011
A MOTHER made her child sit in public with a sign pinned to his shirt that said: "Do not trust me. I will steal from you as I am a thief."
The boy, thought to be aged about 10, was also wearing Shrek ears and writing lines in what appeared to a form of public punishment, according to dozens of witnesses who contacted the Townsville Bulletin.
The boy spent almost an hour on Sunday near a popular waterpark in Townsville while his family ate lunch nearby, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Diane Mayers was so "horrified" when she saw the boy she contacted Child Safety Services to intervene.
Ms Mayers, who worked with the department in the past, said any long-term effects of public humiliation would have been much worse than physical abuse.
"The boy just kept his head down and was staring at the ground," she said. "The parents had gone to all the trouble of printing two copies of the sign - one for the back and one for the front - and laminating them. A lot of work had gone in to it.
"A lot of people walked past and were laughing at him, including boys who would have been his age.
"At one point the boy had taken off the Shrek ears. My daughter walked past and heard the mother say, 'Put them back on or I'll smack your head in'."