A takeaway boss who sexually abused a four-year-old-boy in his shop as a "bad taste joke" has been put behind bars.
Shan He pulled down the little boy's jogging bottoms and exposed his private parts during the "prank" at the Taste of China restaurant in Washington.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the shocking display happened in front of horrified witnesses, who failed to see the funny side while He was laughing.
He claimed his "joke" backfired because of "cultural differences" and said he had not realised what he was doing was so wrong.
The 35-year-old, of Speculation Place, Concord, admitted sexual assault.
Judge Robert Adams told the court: "He says he did this as a rather extreme joke and cicumstances indicate this was a prank or joke, not based on any sexual attraction he has."
Judge Adams accepted He has no sexual attraction to young children but said a prison sentence must follow.
The judge jailed He for 12 months.
Judge Adams told him: "You clearly thought it was funny because you were laughing at the time.
"You said you didn't get any sexual gratification from it.
"I find it hard to accept you behaved in this way because of cultural differences.
"I cannot accept that in any culture it is thought appropriate to do this sort of thing to a four-year-old little boy.
"You are described as an honest, reliable and friendly man who is protective of children.
"I accept that is right but it is not how you behaved with someone else's child on this occasion.
"It is hard to imagine how angry the boy's parents must have been because of the way you behaved.
"He was only four years old, a very little boy."
He must sign the sex offenders register for ten years.
Jane Waugh, defending, said He now realises what he did was wrong and has lost a lot because of his actions that day.
Miss Waugh said: "He is described as being a good man and what he did was a joke.
"He didn't know the severe consequences and that it turned out to be against the law.
"He is now on the sex offenders' register and is viewed differently by those who come into contact with him. All for an extremely bad taste joke.
"He is sorry for any upset he has caused.
"This was a stupid prank, thoughtless."