A YOUNG dad who smashed his premature, weeks-old baby’s arm has walked free from court.
The defendant, now 22, had broken the bone in the tot’s arm right through, into two separate pieces.
The dad, who had had a drinking session until midnight the night before, had yanked the eight-week-old infant up off the floor after he fell off his chest when the defendant fell asleep on the couch, Burnley Crown Court heard.
The youngster, described by his father as the best thing that ever happened to him, was immediately taken to hospital for treatment after the “reckless” early hours incident on December 6th 2009. Apart from the injury, medics found the child was well cared for.
The defendant, who lives in Pendle, is employed and now sees the tot under supervision, admitted child cruelty. He was given nine months in jail, suspended for a year, with a 12 week, 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. The defendant must also do 120 hours unpaid work and pay £400 costs.
David Macro, prosecuting, said the baby, born eight weeks prematurely, suffered a complete fracture of the left upper arm.
The dad, arrested and interviewed on December 9th, told police he fed the tot about 3 a.m. and his partner had changed his nappy. The defendant had then lay down on the settee and put the infant on his chest to wind him. The dad, who said he had had had about five drinks the night before, said he must have fallen asleep and woke to find the child on the floor, screaming.
Mr Macro said the defendant told officers he panicked, gripped the infant’s arm and yanked him up off the floor into a standing position. He noticed the baby’s arm was floppy and every time he moved it, the infant screamed. The defendant said he thought his shoulder might be dislocated and tried to put it back into place. The baby screamed again and the dad and his partner took the child to hospital.
Kevin Preston, for the defendant, said he accepted full culpability for what happened. The incident was a one off.
The defendant had shown genuine remorse and was traumatised by the incident. The child was unlikely to suffer any long-term psychological consequences because of his age.
Mr Preston said the defendant was a thoroughly decent young man who was involved in a tragic case. He was working long hours and hoped to be promoted.
The solicitor added: “He has been warned the courts always take offences of this nature very seriously.”
Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson told the defendant the offence was a reckless act rather than deliberate infliction of an injury.
The judge added: “You immediately sought medical attention for the child and that is a substantial mitigating feature.”