Mbombela - A young mother who hit her 18-month-old baby boy with a shoe has been sentenced to four years in jail by the Nelspruit Regional Court.Sentencing her on Wednesday, Magistrate Vanessa Joubert suspended the 21-year-old woman’s jail term for five years, and said she should continue receiving psychological treatment at Rob Ferreira Hospital.She was looking at a 10-year jail term as a first offender, for assaulting a child with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, Joubert warned her.The woman, from Tekwane South near Mbombela in Mpumalanga, may not be named to protect the child’s identity. She is still in school - in Grade 10 - and has another child, aged 2. She was arrested on May 21 2016, when the child’s grandmother laid an assault charge against her.She pleaded guilty to the assault charge on Wednesday."I am sorry for what I have done to my son. I was angered by the father and I regret my act. I love him so much and would protect him from any harm in future. I plead guilty and ask for mercy. I will never hurt my son again," she said in her plea statement.Joubert said the court was satisfied that she had pleaded guilty and was remorseful.She said the mother had gained nothing by taking her frustration out on her child and should have dealt with her hardships on her own."Children need to be brought up with love and in a family unit. Your mother reported you to the police because she was angered by your act. You were still a child. Because you have brought children to this world, it means you should act as an adult," said Joubert.She was happy that the accused and the child’s father had reconciled and that he was taking responsibility for maintenance.