The schoolboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered burns to his arm and leg when the 57-year-old grandparent ‘playfully prodded’ him with the lit cigarette.
The burns were later spotted by staff at his school, who called in social services in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Solicitor advocate Tom Rushbrooke told a judge at Bradford Crown Court that his client, who also cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, said the actions were reckless but he had not ‘intended to cause serious injury’.
He said: ‘It wouldn’t be fair to say he had gone out to deliberately burn the child.
‘He has played a stupid, idiotic game with his grandchildren, who he worships.’
Prosecutor Karma Melly said a teaching assistant at the boy’s school noticed that his leg was bleeding and asked him about it.
A social worker was then contacted.
The boy was examined by a pediatrician who found two well-defined burn marks, which indicated they were not accidental.
Miss Melly said the Crown accepted the injuries were caused as part of a game, but said they were deliberate acts.
Mr Rushbrooke said his client, from Bradford, who pleaded guilty to child cruelty, was drinking heavily at the time but had drastically cut down on his intake of alcohol and was seeking help at the city’s Piccadilly Project, a local outreach centre.
Judge Robert Bartfield told the man he had pleaded guilty to an unusual offence but he was dealing with him on the basis that he had been playing a family game, chasing youngsters with a cigarette and sticking the cigarette onto them ‘not with the intention of doing them any significant harm, but no doubt with the intention of making them hurt and squeal, which no doubt you would have found amusing.’
The judge told the defendant he had behaved like a 13-year-old.
He gave him a 12-month community order, a six-month alcohol treatment requirement and a thinking skills exercise.