A BROMSGROVE man who subjected his four children, all under 10, to a regime of harsh physical treatment has been jailed for two years.

The 43-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was described as "more than a bully" by Recorder Edward Coke at Worcester Crown Court.

He said that the defendant, who pleaded guilty to child cruelty between 2010 and 2013, had caused emotional suffering as well as physical pain. The recorder added that his loss of temper had been appalling.

Prosecutor Peter Grice described how the father had used a two foot piece of wood as a smacking stick to hit the children, although none had been badly injured.

When the family had gone on holiday to Cornwall he had forgotten his smacking stick so he got the children to pick a branch from a tree so he could use it to hit them. He also broke a wooden spoon when he hit one child on the head.

The punishment for a youngster who soiled his clothes was putting him in a cold shower.

Mr Grice said the defendant was in breach of a conditional discharge, imposed in 2011, when he admitted common assault on a 15-year-old girl. He had bruised her head as he roughly carried her through a gate.

Diljit Bachada, in mitigation, said her client had been to nine sessions of a nurturing programme and had been awarded a certificate. He had been left as sole carer for the children through the neglect of the mother. He had not been helped by social services and now regretted his wrongdoing.

The defendant, who described himself as a dinosaur in his treatment of the children, was told he must serve half his sentence before being released on licence. He must also pay a £100 victim surcharge.