AN OUTRAGED mother has slammed the justice system as the brute who attacked her five-year-old son was jailed for just four years.

She had expected Robert Emery, who battered her child so viciously his head swelled to double its normal size, to be charged with attempted murder.

She was horrified when she went to Swindon crown court to see him punished, and found that the charges were downgraded from attempted murder, to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Emery, 29, of Aldeburgh Place, Trowbridge, pleaded guilty to the assault and a driving offence and was jailed for four years.

The attack happened in January when he took the child with him when he went to buy drugs in Westbury.

The mum, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said the five-year-old's head and neck were completely black and blue because of the beating.

She said: "I couldn't believe the state he was in when I saw him. He completely battered him.

"The only part of his head and neck that wasn't bruised was his lips and that was because he had stuck a sock in his mouth.

"We were very lucky that there were no internal injuries like bleeding on the brain.

"My little boy told me 'I tried to get him off, I tried to punch him to get him to stop'. It's heartbreaking."

She added that she was extremely proud of her son, who had made a good physical recovery.

"He does have nightmares and gets scared that 'that man will come after him and kill him'. But his resilience is amazing. I am very proud of him and the way he has dealt with everything. We love him very much and will be strong for him."

The mum said she was not aware her son with was Emery that night and was shocked at the ferocity of the attack which detectives were initially going to treat as attempted murder.

She said: "It's not justice and I want justice for my boy. There is also a restraining order so he will not be able to come near my family.

"I don't think the four year sentence, where he will be out in two years, reflects what we have had to go through as a family over the last six months."

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Julia Vince said: "This was an extremely distressing and despicable crime.

"Emery showed no real remorse for his victim, despite pleading guilty.

"In fact, he lied and denied ever deliberately hurting his victim in his interviews with police, putting the child and family through more misery before deciding to change his story - finally admitting the awful truth.

"I welcome this sentence and hope it sends a message to anyone who carries out any sort of abuse, you will be brought to justice."

This week Emery was back in court, where he had his jail term extended after a judge heard he was on bail for yet another offence at the time of the attack.

David Maunder, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Tuesday that Emery was first arrested in Melksham last November after failing a roadside test for cocaine.

He was taken to the police station where he would not allow blood to be taken for analysis and admitted failing to provide a sample before magistrates.

An interim driving ban was imposed but less than two weeks later he was stopped driving a Vauxhall Vectra though Bath in the early hours of the morning.

He told police he was not disqualified from driving and had a full licence and insurance, which was not the case.

Emery pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified.

Andrew Stone, defending, said his client was homeless at the time following the breakdown of a long term relationship.

He urged the court to impose a concurrent sentence, which would have run alongside the four years in prison, which he referred to as a 'lengthy jail term'.

But Judge Robert Pawson said with a driving record like Emery's he must impose a consecutive sentence. As well as adding two months to the four years he extended the driving ban imposed by a month to reflect the time spent inside.

Emery was already on a suspended sentence when he went on the spate of offending over six weeks culminating in the assault near Westbury train station on January 6.

Following the attack, which a medic said caused the worst facial injuries she had seen in a child, the court heard he told a friend the little boy 'spilled my gear'.