Zimbabwe-born Kuzivakwasha Chigariro launched the attacks while supposedly looking after the little boy from Wolverhampton, who suffered at least 28 separate injuries, a judge heard.
The victim had a broken left arm, wounds to both his lips, bites to his back and chest and scratches to his face and hands, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
Chigariro, 22, even tried to claim in his defence that biting and beatings had been regarded as an acceptable form of discipline during the defendant’s upbringing in Zimbabwe.
He came to this country at 12.
Several of the injuries were days old – the broken arm was untreated for so long it started to heal itself – when the boy’s mother was finally persuaded to seek treatment for the child on July 10 last year, the day before his fourth birthday.
The distressed child was in so much pain he could not be properly checked until after surgery to mend the break in his arm.
His mother told police Chigariro was to blame.
The boy was underweight, under nourished and still bore the scars of the ordeal when released from hospital a month later and is still being treated by a plastic surgeon, said prosecutor Mr Nicholas Tatlow.
Mr Jasvir Mann, defending Chigariro, said: “He inflicted harm while using cannabis excessively and drinking heavily.”
Chigariro pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed by Judge Amjad Nawaz who told him: “Somebody who causes that number of injuries to a young child may have derived some sort of pleasure from doing it.
“What that could be, I cannot imagine.”
A jury convicted the mother in her absence of child cruelty as a result of delay in seeking help.
A warrant was issued for her arrest. – express star/agencies