An inadequate young father caused a catalogue of serious injuries to his baby son, a court was told.
He twice broke the tiny infant’s arm as well as his shin and caused severe tissue damage over five months by forcefully pulling and twisting his limbs. The first injury was caused when the baby was two months old.
The man (23), who lives in Burnley, was jailed for three years at Burnley Crown Court after pleading guilty to five counts of child cruelty and he was given a lifetime ban from working with children.
Consultant paediatrician, Dr Nicholas Wild, who examined the baby for an earlier court hearing said all the injuries were the result of considerable force, caused by gripping, squeezing and twisting so that the muscle was crushed against bone.
“The baby would have experienced marked pain and discomfort and would have screamed and cried for several minutes,” he said. “He would have had several days of discomfort when dressing or undressing and his significant pain and discomfort would have been obvious”.
The injuries eventually came to light in November 2010 when the baby was taken to hospital. Doctors discovered he was carrying an injury he had had for two weeks. Social services were called in an the boy was put in the care of foster parents.
“That young boy must have been in terrible pain,” said Mr Recorder Tony Cross, who slammed the father for the grief he had also caused to his family, who were arrested on suspicion of causing the injuries.
“Your own mother and father, both sets of grandparents and you partner were arrested. One can only imagine how appalling it must have been for innocent grandparents to have been arrested for injuring a grandchild that they loved.”
The father eventually admitted his guilt in a family hearing at Blackburn County Court before Her Honour Judge Barbara Watson. Initially, he denied any violence towards the child but later said he had fallen with the baby, and that must have caused the injury. Two radiologists said this was not true. Judge Barbara Watson said ‘the court is satisfied that the father perpetrated the injury, but not satisfied it has heard the whole truth’.”
The Crown court was told the child’s mother fell pregnant shortly after the couple met, and that he had not been interested. However, when she moved into her own home after the boy was born the father frequently stayed there and looked after the baby when she was unwell. She first noticed there was something wrong with the baby’s arm in July 2010, but nothing was picked up by hospital staff.
In his statement, the father said he injured the child four days before they took him to hospital. The child woke in the night but would not feed, so he twisted his arm. About a month later the mother went out after they argued, so he yanked the boy’s forearm. One night in October he pulled and twisted the boy’s leg because he would not stop crying when he changed his nappy. In December the mother said she wanted to leave him, so he pushed the baby’s arm.