A woman used an electrified dog training collar on a toddler during an “appalling” catalogue of abuse lasting more than a year.
Lanna Monaghan saw the controversial device being used on an animal – and decided if it worked on pets “it will work on kids”.
The former soldier also kicked and but the child she was looking after.
She also subjected him to cold showers and hit him so hard with a wooden spoon it broke.
At the High Court in Glasgow yesterday, judge Lady Rae was shown photographs of the injuries found on the child and asked if the ones on his neck were consistent with what appeared to be electrodes on the dog collar.
When she was told they were, she said: “So it must have been applied on a number of occasions.”
Monaghan, whose last address was in Fort William Road, Fort Augustus, admitted during a police interview that she had a temper and could “zone out” and be “out of control”.
The 34-year-oldf, who is heavily pregnant, was yesterday remanded in custody and warned to expect a prison term when she returns to court for sentence.
Lady Rae told a weeping Monaghan: “This is an appalling catalogue of charges of physical cruelty, I think that is the only way to describe it, to a toddler over 15 months.
“Realistically it would be very difficult to avoid custody in a case such as this. This was a toddler, a defenceless child.”
Monaghan admitted five charges of assaulting the boy at addresses in the Highlands in 2014 and last year.
She admitted repeatedly fixing a dog collar with an electric shock device attached around his neck and inflicting shocks on him in July last year.
The private hire car firm employee also admitted forcing him into a shower and turning it on and off while kicking him.
Monaghan, who served in the Army for nine years, also admitted biting him on the ear and repeatedly striking him with a wooden spoon.
The abuse ended when the boy was three.
Monaghan, who also previously lived in Ardersier and Inverness, saw a dog owner using an electronic collar.
The concerned woman later reported her to the authorities after suspecting she was using one on the child.
Monaghan had revealed to the woman in a phone call that she swore at the child and shouted: “Do you want me to go and get the buzzer?”
Advocate depute, Jane Farquharson, prosecuting, that when police saw the little boy they noted he had injuries to his face.
She said: “When taken to the hospital and medically examined a number of non-accidental injuries were noted.
“This included multiple bruising on the body and multiple red marks on the neck at a fixed distance from each other.”
A tearful Monaghan later told a psychiatric nurse that she got “fired up” and described having continuing “anger issues”.
Monaghan claimed the child “pushes my buttons, spitting on me, peeing on the floor and being sick on the floor”.
She admitted that at times she would be crouched down to the child’s eye level, shouting and swearing aggressively at him when he wet himself and cried.
The prosecutor said “She did not appear to recognise the possibility that the child was reacting involuntarily and through fear.”
Monaghan will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow in July.