Dad’s cruelty conviction after shaking baby
A Nelson man who shook his 13-week-old baby daughter three times when he momentarily lost control causing her to require urgent hospital treatment for “life threatening injuries” has escaped prison.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, shook the baby in 2010 when she was colicky and screaming Burnley Crown Court heard.
He was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years after admitting child cruelty.
The man took the baby to hospital straight away when the child went “floppy”, the court was told, but did not tell hospital staff how the baby had come to have injuries and said that doctors described as similar to those sustained in a crash.
Stephen Parker (prosecuting) told the court that three relatives were arrested and questioned as suspects in the case before the man came clean in a family proceedings case six months later.
The court was told that hospital staff at Burnley General Hospital were unsure of the illness, first testing for meningitis and septicaemia, before the child was sent to the Royal Blackburn Hospital for scans and was found to have bleeding on the brain and severe retinal haemorraghes.
Mr Parker told the court the girl had made a full recovery.
The 26-year-old father was of good character the court heard and had not said anything because he was “scared”.
The man’s defence barrister said he had “panicked and kept quiet” but had shown remorse by apologising and admitting what he had done.
Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said it was “unforgiveable” that it had taken three-and-a-half years to come to crown court with the “strain” on the defendant of not knowing whether he was going to prison or not.
Judge Lunt said the man had “snapped” for a moment and she was “astonished” he had let family members be arrested. Judge Lunt said at least the man had taken his daughter to hospital but said not telling staff had put the girl “at risk” and her full recovery was not down to him.