LONDON - The British Court on Friday has given six-month suspended jail term to a Muslim father who encouraged his 10-year-old son to flog himself during a religious ceremony. Jurors found the taxi driver, 49, guilty of being cruel to a child after being told that the youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was allowed to beat himself at a mosque in Birmingham. Prosecutors said the man, who lives in Rugby, Warwickshire, was the second Muslim to be convicted of cruelty as a result of allowing a boy take part in the Matam Zanjeer (flagellation) ceremony. The taxi driver, who also took part in the ceremony, had denied cruelty during a trial at Huntingdon Crown Court. The court heard that the boy had participated in the ceremony in January 2007, when the man lived in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Mozammel Hossain, defending, told Judge Nicholas Coleman today that the taxi driver had acted out of 'love' and 'devotion'. 'What he did, it is very clear, was out of devotion - religious - and his love for his son. 'He loves his son and his son loves him. The same thing was done to him. This is the way he has seen life. His father took him in Pakistan. He wanted his son to be a man the way he is. 'But he said the taxi driver had learned that allowing a child to beat himself was illegal in the UK and would not re-offend. Hossain added: 'It is very clear it is illegal in this country. He must not do it. He will not do it again.' Judge Coleman said he accepted that the taxi driver had learned a lesson and said he wanted others to remember that British law did not allow children to be exposed to cruelty. 'Not only did you allow him to participate in the ceremony, in my judgment, you actively encouraged him,' said the judge, who had watched footage of a Matam Zanjeer ceremony during the trial. 'I must question as to why anyone would want to do this to themselves. Adults are free to make their own choices but children must not be allowed to take part. 'He added: 'The boy's injuries were slight but they could have been worse. 'The judge imposed a six-month prison term suspended for two years and ordered the taxi driver to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and pay 500 prosecution costs. Jurors heard that the taxi driver's wife had not wanted her son to take part in the ceremony and police investigated after she raised concerns. The court was told that the taxi driver and his wife were now living apart.